Donald Trump has pledged to ‘immediately’ deport up to three million illegal immigrants as soon as he enters the White House, during his first television interview since winning the election.
The president-elect said he would target criminal migrants, gang members and drug dealers – as well as building a border wall.
But he admitted some of the structure could be ‘part fence’.
The president elect was speaking to CBS’ 60 minutes programme, in his first interview since his shock election victory on Tuesday. Donald Trump and his family (pictured) spoke to 60 Minutes in their first extended interview since his victory
The billionaire property mogul expanded on his controversial pledge to deport millions of migrants currently living in the US without proper paperwork, saying the first to go would be those with criminal records.
He said: “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 two million, it could be even three million, we are getting them out of our country or we are going to incarcerate.”
“But we’re getting them out of our country, they’re here illegally.”
But he did not elaborate on his plans for the remaining nine or 10 million undocumented immigrants estimated to be in the country.
Instead, he emphasised the need to “secure our border” before making any further “determinations”.
“After the border is secure and after everything gets normalized, we’re going to make a determination on the people that they’re talking about who are terrific people, they’re terrific people but we are gonna make a determination at that,” he said.
“But before we make that determination, it’s very important we are going to secure our border.”
Trump swept to victory off the back of a highly controversial campaign where he branded Mexicans “rapists” and pledged to ban all Muslims from entering the US.
But since winning the keys to the White House he has already appeared to row back on a number of election promises.
After meeting outgoing President Barak Obama he announced he was considering keeping parts of his landmark “Obamacare” health programme.
The Republican billionaire had previously promised to drop the Affordable Care Act as soon as he got into power, but has since said he “likes” parts of it “very much”.
Following his chat with President Obama on on Thursday, Trump said he will consider leaving parts of the bill in place “out of respect”.
He told the Wall Street Journal his team were working “quickly” on Mr Obama’s signature health initiative, because it was so unworkable and expensive that “you can’t use it”.
But he said he would keep the provisions allowing children to remain on their parents’ healthcare plans until the age of 26, and a prohibition against denial of coverage because of parents’ pre-existing conditions.
In his CBS interview, to be aired later this evening, the incoming President conceded that his infamous border wall – which he promised to get Mexico to pay for – could have “some fencing” in certain areas.
But he added that a wall would be “more appropriate” in other locations along the border.
He is also said to have changed his mind about having Hillary Clinton investigated.
One supporter said: “Many of us are starting to feel he has already stopped being a businessman and is now a politician.”
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton has blamed the FBI’s pre-election decision to reopen a probe into her emails for her defeat.
During a call to campaign donors, she said she had held the lead until the bureau’s boss director James Comey told Congress they had found 650,000 emails that needed looking into. Comey subsequently said no criminality was found.
Her explanation came as violent protests continued across the States in response to the Republican’s shock win.