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Trump to move on 'criminal' immigrants

By AGENCIES and CHINA DAILY | | Updated: 2016-11-14 14:14

US President-elect Donald Trump said on CBS' 60 Minutes program on Sunday evening that he will deport millions of "criminal" undocumented immigrants immediately after he assumes office in January.

"What we are going to do is get the people that are criminal and have criminal records, gang members, drug dealers, where a lot of these people, probably 2 million, it could be even 3 million; we are getting them out of our country or we are going to incarcerate," Trump told 60 Minutes. "But we're getting them out of our country; they're here illegally."

US House Speaker Paul Ryan, a Republican, said that a plan to forcibly remove undocumented immigrants from the country is unlikely.

"We are not planning on erecting a deportation force. Donald Trump is not planning on that," Ryan said Sunday on CNN's State of the Union.

Trump's plan to rein in illegal immigration could change, with him backing off his vow to build a solid wall along the border with Mexico.

Trump was asked on 60 Minutes if he would accept a fence in some spots.

"For certain areas, I would, but certain areas, a wall is more appropriate," Trump said. "There could be some fencing."

China Daily USA posted a Xinhua story about Trump's immigration comments on its Facebook page, which generated a variety of responses.

Why is "criminal" in quotes? And why the politically correct term "undocumented immigrants"? They're ILLEGAL ALIENS, which makes them CRIMINALS. Try to be an illegal alien in China and see what that gets you," wrote one commenter.

"Then get all the European Americans out. Native Americans are the first Americans, everyone else is here illegally, according to their sacred law," another posted.

"A windfall for rich high-paid immigration lawyers. This will be no easy task and cost trillions."

"Just give the man time to do what he thinks … don't talk bad on him. I think he is going to do a very good job. I am a black man. I think a lot of him."

"They are destroying their country only to reside in other nations. Mr President you are right."

"Deport him … immigrants offer more than he ever will and they are welcome here."

"He is following the laws we already have."

Trump and his advisers already have signaled he may hedge on some of his other major campaign promises, including healthcare and appointing a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton, his Democratic presidential campaign opponent.

In other political news on Sunday, Trump named Republican Party chief Reince Priebus as White House chief of staff and conservative media owner Stephen Bannon as his top strategist, two men who represent opposite camps in the the GOP.

In bringing Priebus and Bannon into the White House, Trump is making overtures to both traditional Republican circles and the party's anti-establishment wing, which helped fuel the businessman's political rise.

Priebus has ties to GOP congressional leaders, particularly Ryan. Bannon previously ran the website, which has been highly critical of Republican leadership, including Ryan.

Bannon was given top billing in the press release announcing the appointments, a curious arrangement given that White House chief of staff is typically considered the most powerful West Wing job.

Together with Vice President-elect Mike Pence, the triumvirate will lead Trump's transition and help guide his presidency.

"I am thrilled to have my very successful team continue with me in leading our country," Trump said.

On trade, US Secretary of State John Kerry said that he hopes Trump will drop his opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade deal.

The 12-nation TPP, which doesn't include China, became a contentious issue during the US election campaign, with critics saying it would cost American jobs.

The deal has been signed but not ratified by US lawmakers.

Kerry denied that the TPP was intended to create an economic bulwark against China's rise in the Asia-Pacific.

"It's not about China," he said on Sunday. "The United States welcomes the peaceful rise of a great nation like China; we've said that directly to President Xi (Jinping)."

Kerry said he and President Barack Obama are "deeply committed" to the deal but would not try to push it through a "lame duck" legislative session before Trump takes over.

Trump also was back on Twitter on Sunday. During a four-hour spree, he criticized The New York Times and talked about GOP stalwarts who congratulated him, saying that critics and GOP rivals John Kasich, Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush had sent well wishes.

"Wow, the @nytimes is losing thousands of subscribers because of their very poor and highly inaccurate coverage of the ‘Trump phenomena,'" Trump wrote to his 14 million Twitter followers.

Former presidents George W. and George H.W. Bush also sent their "best wishes on the win. Very nice!"

Also on Sunday, Trump's campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid should be careful in a "legal sense" about characterizing Trump as a sexual predator.

When asked whether Trump was threatening to sue Reid, Conway said no.

But Adam Jentleson, Reid's deputy chief of staff, said Trump is "hiding behind his Twitter account and sending his staff on TV to threaten his critics".

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