AUSTIN, Texas — Donald Trump suggested Tuesday that he is open to “softening” laws dealing with immigrants in the country illegally, the latest sign that the Republican presidential nominee is considering easing the hardline stance he has taken since the beginning of his campaign.

Taping a town hall in Austin, Texas, for Fox News, Trump was asked by moderator Sean Hannity if he would change current statutes to accommodate law-abiding citizens or longtime residents who have raised children in the United States.

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

“We are going to follow the laws of this country,” he added

Trump has repeatedly declared that if elected, he would deport the 11 million people living in the U.S. illegally. But he has hedged his stance in recent days, and during the taping he ruminated aloud about the fairness of breaking up families. He even polled the audience about what they would do about the crucial policy.

“So you have somebody who’s been in the country for 20 years, has done a great job, and everything else,” Trump said. “Do we take him and the family and her and him or whatever and send him out?”

The crowd’s reaction was split: Some cheered when Trump suggested that the immigrants be allowed to stay, others roared when he suggested deporting them.

The Republican nominee then said he “would come out with a decision very soon” about deportations.

Trump had been scheduled to outline his immigration policies Thursday in Colorado. But that speech has been postponed, likely until next week

Trump’s public deliberation could be the latest signal that as the general campaign heats up, he is moving away from one of his divisive, signature proposals from the Republican primary in order to broaden his base of support. On Monday, he first suggested he was open to allowing some immigrants to stay, suggesting that he wanted a “fair, but firm” policy.

That is a far cry from the early days of the primaries, when Trump vowed to use a “deportation force” to round up and deport the millions of people living in the country illegally. That proposal excited many of his core supporters, but alienated Hispanic voters who could be pivotal in key states.

The celebrity businessman, however, has stuck to his vow to build a wall to fortify the nation’s southern border with Mexico and to deport immigrants here illegally who have committed criminal and violent acts.

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