Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence laid out an immigration policy for running mate Donald Trump on Sunday morning that would grant some undocumented immigrants the opportunity to legally stay in the United States — after returning to their native country.
"There will be no path to legalization, no path to citizenship unless people leave the country," Pence said on CNN's State of the Union.
Despite Pence insisting that Trump's immigration positions "have been absolutely consistent," the GOP nominee suggested this week he would be open to "softening" his intentions to create a "deportation force" and remove the entire undocumented immigrant population from the United States.
Pence, repeatedly asked whether a Trump administration would still deploy a "deportation force," demurred but said Trump was only describing "a mechanism, not a policy" with the use of that term.
Trump was slated to deliver a policy speech on immigration this week but cancelled planned trips to several western states. Pence, on Sunday, said that Trump will give "more detail in next two weeks that lays out all the policies" on immigration."
He also suggested this week that undocumented immigrants could potentially return, telling CNN, "There is no path to legalization unless people leave the country."
The "touchback" policy seemingly floated by the GOP ticket this week could mimic the very proposal Pence laid out in 2006 while serving in Congress. Then-Congressman Pence proposed in a speech to the Heritage Foundation that the U.S. require all undocumented immigrants to return to their native countries but then work through a new guest-worker program to return — within as quickly as a week — to their place of employment.