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Deportation force off table: Ryan

AAP logoAAP 13/11/2016

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan says US President-elect Donald Trump will not be pushing ahead with plans to create a deportation force to round up and expel undocumented foreigners, in contrast to the real estate mogul's promises to do so during the election campaign.

It comes as Trump backed away from a promise to build a wall on the US-Mexican border, saying some areas could instead be fenced, but stood firm on a plan to deport up to three million immigrants who have criminal records.

Ryan, the highest-ranking Republican in Congress, made his remarks on CNN on Sunday, where he said the top priority of Trump and GOP lawmakers is to strengthen security along the US-Mexican border.

He said clearly that Republicans were not considering creating a deportation force, and he ruled out that doing so might become a priority on either the GOP - or Trump's - agenda over the next four years.

Trump himself, in an interview on Sunday, said that he will deport migrants who have "criminal records," a decision that could affect between two and three million people.

Trump made his pledge to force Mexico to pay for a border wall a centrepiece of his White House campaign but according to excerpts released on Sunday of his interview with 60 Minutes said "for certain areas" he would accept fencing instead of a brick-and-mortar wall.

"But certain areas, a wall is more appropriate. I'm very good at this, it's called construction, there could be some fencing," the New York real estate developer said.

Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton in Tuesday's election and replaces Democratic President Barack Obama on January 20.

The president-elect's remarks concerning undocumented migrants are in contrast to what he had said during the election campaign, when he had promised to create a deportation force to round up and expel the approximately 11 million undocumented foreigners calculated to live in the United States.

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