MIAMI (AP) -- Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump defended his plan Wednesday to deport millions living here illegally, saying it could be done "humanely."
Trump touted President Dwight D. Eisenhower's efforts in the 1950s as proof such a mass deportation can be done. When pressed on how he could carry out the deportation of millions, Trump said "you're going to have a deportation force, and you're going to do it humanely."
A day after the fourth Republican presidential debate, Trump and other 2016 White House candidates were campaigning in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, all states with early primary contests.
The debate did little to change the outlook in race for the Republican nomination, which features 15 candidates and no overwhelming front-runner less than three months before the primary process begins. Traditional politicians including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio are striving to emerge from the shadow cast by the unexpected rise of Trump and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson.
Rubio said on ABC's "Good Morning America" that the government must deal with those here illegally "responsibly but realistically." He said those applying to remain legally would have to pass a criminal background check, pay a fine and learn English, among other requirements. He said they would then get a "work permit" valid for at least 10 years.
In a statement, Democratic National Committee spokesperson Christina Freundlich said Rubio "is offering no solutions to provide relief for our country's immigrants."
"Instead, he is trying to win over Trump supporters while turning his back on families that have a similar story to his own," she said, referring to Rubio's Cuban heritage.
The next Democratic debate is Saturday in Iowa, with front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton facing two remaining foes for the party's nomination, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley. The presidential election is still a year away.