Kaine: Trump said undocumented immigrants ‘will all be gone’
By Miriam Valverde, PolitiFact staff writer
Vice presidential nominees Tim Kaine and Mike Pence used their only debate to attack the other candidate’s platform on immigration.
Pence, the Republican governor of Indiana, criticized the Democratic ticket for an “open borders” policy (which is False), while Kaine, a Virginia senator, fired back on Donald Trump’s deportation plans.
“When Donald Trump spoke in Phoenix, he looked the audience in the eye and he said ‘no, we’re building a wall, and we’re deporting everybody.’ He said, quote, ‘They will all be gone. They will all be gone,’ “ Kaine said during the Oct. 4 debate in Farmville, Va. “This is one of the ones where you can go to the tape on it and see what Donald Trump has said.”
Trump has offered contradicting plans for deportations. He has said he would have adeportation force to round up people here illegally, and that while he wants families to stay together, “they have to go,” but that there can be a “softening because we’re not looking to hurt people, we want people.”
Kaine referenced Trump’s speech in Arizona on Aug. 31, where he outlined a 10-point immigration plan.
We revisited Trump’s immigration speech to see if, in fact, Trump said immigrants in the country illegally will all be gone and that he plans to deport everybody. Trump has been steadfast on his plans to build a wall along the southwest border.
But Kaine is oversimplifying Trump’s most-recent deportation priorities.
When Trump got to point №3 of his immigration plan, he said there would be “zero tolerance for criminal aliens.” He said that according to federal data, there are at least 2 million criminal aliens inside the United States.
Trump, talking specifically about criminal immigrants in the country illegally, said his administration would begin moving them out “day one,” working especially with police and law enforcement who “know who these people are.”
“They live with these people. They get mocked by these people. They can’t do anything about these people, and they want to. They know who these people are. Day one, my first hour in office, those people are gone.
“And you can call it deported if you want. The press doesn’t like that term. You can call it whatever the hell you want. They’re gone.
“Beyond the 2 million, and there are vast numbers of additional criminal illegal immigrants who have fled, but their days have run out in this country. The crime will stop. They’re going to be gone. It will be over. They’re going out. They’re going out fast.”
Trump did not say, as Kaine quoted, “they will all be gone,” in reference to all people in the country illegally.
However, in other parts of the speech, Trump stressed that non-criminal immigrants living in the United States illegally would also eventually have to return to their home countries and apply for re-entry.
“Those here illegally today, who are seeking legal status, they will have one route and one route only: To return home and apply for re-entry like everybody else, under the rules of the new legal immigration system that I have outlined,” Trump said.
Trump’s campaign pointed to part of Trump’s speech in which he said after accomplishing his enforcement and deportation goals, including the construction of the wall, “then and only then will we be in a position to consider the appropriate disposition of those individuals who remain.”
But Clinton’s team pointed us to other parts of that speech where Trump said, “Anyone who has entered the United States illegally is subject to deportation.” Trump went on to emphasize his priorities, including criminals, gang members and security threats.
Kaine said, “When Donald Trump spoke in Phoenix, he looked the audience in the eye and he said ‘no, we’re building a wall and we’re deporting everybody.’ He said, quote, ‘They will all be gone. They will all be gone.’ This is one of the ones where you can go to the tape on it and see what Donald Trump has said.”
Trump has not always been consistent about his deportation plans. But in Phoenix, he did not literally say of the entire undocumented immigrant population, “they will all be gone.” He used that kind of language to describe his plans for immigrants who had committed crimes, saying they would be the first to go.
However, Trump did say in the same speech that people here illegally today and who want to be legalized “have one route and one route only, to return home and apply for reentry like everybody else.” Trump’s language in the Phoenix speech for the non-criminal pool of undocumented immigrants was more tamped-down than Kaine presented.
We rate Kaine’s statement Half True.
The Washington Post, Transcript vice presidential debate, Oct. 4, 2016
Email exchange, Donald Trump campaign, Oct. 4, 2016
Email exchange, Hillary Clinton campaign, Oct. 4, 2016
The Washington Post, Transcript of Donald Trump’s immigration speech in Arizona Aug. 31, 2016
PolitiFact, Rudy Giuliani wrongly says Hillary Clinton is for open borders, July 18, 2016
PolitiFact, As Donald Trump prepares immigration speech, mass deportation at issue, Aug. 30, 2016
Donald Trump campaign website, immigration reform plan
PolitiFact, How Trump plans to build, and pay for, a wall along U.S.-Mexico border, July 26, 2016
The Washington Post, Here’s what Donald Trump said in his big immigration speech, annotated, Aug. 31, 2016