WASHINGTON, Aug. 25 (UPI) -- Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said Wednesday he will consider adopting an immigration policy that allows some undocumented individuals without criminal records to remain in the United States if they agree to pay back taxes.
The statement comes after days of Trump hinting he is considering "softening" his position on the issue after railing against illegal immigration for more than a year during the Republican primary.
Trump said the change would not amount to "amnesty" for illegal immigrants because they would not be granted full citizenship and would still be paying back taxes. He also said he would immediately deport "the bad ones," meaning any undocumented individual with a criminal record.
Trump also called for an end to "sanctuary cities," or municipalities that have placed restrictions on local law enforcement contacting the federal government to begin deportation proceedings when an undocumented person is identified or arrested. He said he remains in favor of building a wall on the Mexican border
Trump, speaking to Fox News, said his get-tough immigration stance is still in place, but he is willing to "work with" undocumented families who have lived in the United States without issue for long periods of time.
"No citizenship. Let me go a step further -- they'll pay back-taxes, they have to pay taxes, there's no amnesty, as such, there's no amnesty, but we work with them," Trump said. "When I go through and I meet thousands and thousands of people on this subject, and I've had very strong people come up to me, really great, great people come up to me, and they've said, 'Mr. Trump, I love you, but to take a person who's been here for 15 or 20 years and throw them and their family out, it's so tough, Mr. Trump,' I have it all the time! It's a very, very hard thing."