Denham, nonetheless, points to a brief statement made by Trump prior to the November election as reason for hope.
"Do you believe that an undocumented person who serves, who wants to serve in the U.S. armed forces, deserves to stay in this country legally?" West Point graduate and former Signal Corps officer Brenda Sue Fulton asked at a "Commander-in-Chief Forum" on NBC, held in September.
Trump, who did not serve during the Vietnam War, replied in the affirmative.
"I think that when you serve in the armed forces, that's a very special situation, and I could see myself working that out, absolutely," Trump said, adding that "we have to be very careful. We have to vet very carefully ... but the answer is, it would be a very special circumstance, yes."
On his presidential campaign website, though, Trump declares his priorities to include "immediate" termination of "President Obama's two illegal executive amnesties" that protect immigrants here illegally who entered the United States as children. Trump also asserted that "anyone who illegally crosses the border will be detained until they are removed out of our country."
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