Donald Trump Suggests ‘Softening’ Immigration Stance in Texas

Donald Trump is suggesting he could favor "softening" laws dealing with immigrants living in the United States illegally.

Trump taped a town hall in Austin on Tuesday for Fox News. Moderator Sean Hannity asked the Republican presidential nominee if he would change any statute to accommodate law-abiding citizens or those with children.

Trump answered, "There certainly can be a softening because we're not looking to hurt people. We want people, we have some great people in this country."

He added, "We are going to follow the laws of this country."

His remarks could indicate he is considering easing his earlier pledge to deport the 11 million people living in the country illegally.

Trump said he would make a decision "very soon" about deportations.

Trump's visit to Texas included a fundraiser Tuesday morning in Fort Worth and a public rally later Tuesday evening.

A quick stop in Texas to raise money for a campaign is very common, but hosting a rally in the Lone Star State just 11 weeks out from the general election is not.

"The dye is cast here in Texas. It's going to go Republican, and so a lot of consultants feel like he's wasting his time here," said Gromer Jeffers, political reporter for The Dallas Morning News.

Texas has gone red in every presidential election since 1976.

"In fact, no presidential candidate on either side – Democrat or Republican – has held a public rally in Texas this late in the process since Bob Dole in 1996," Jeffers said.

Some big Republican names in Texas politics skipped the Austin rally.

Gov. Greg Abbott was in San Antonio Tuesday at Brooke Army Medical Center, for ongoing treatment of burns on his legs and feet he suffered last month. Land Commissioner George P. Bush, the only member of the Bush family to endorse Trump, told NBC 5 he had a previous commitment.

Attorney General Ken Paxton said he had a previously scheduled speech. U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, who gave Trump a lukewarm endorsement, was traveling overseas. And U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz has not endorsed Trump.

But some other state lawmakers were in attendance, including Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller and U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess, who represents the 26th district.

On Thursday former president Bill Clinton is scheduled to appear at fundraising stops in Dallas, Houston and San Antonio in support of his wife, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. But no rallies are scheduled.

The Associated Press' Johnathan Lemire contributed to this report.

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