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President-elect Donald Trump vows to deport 3m migrants and build a wall

The President-elect has ditched conciliatory language. 

After his shock victory in the US election, and a thoroughly toxic campaign, President-elect Donald Trump struck a conciliatory note in his victory speech.

"It's time to bind the wounds of division," the Republican candidate said, after a campaign in which he called Mexicans "rapists", and claimed a judge was biased against him because of his Mexican heritage.

But less than a week later, Trump has revived his own hardline rhetoric. In an interview with the network CBS, he said there were "two million, it could be even three million" illegal immigrants who should be deported because of their criminal records.

Asked if he was still determined to "build a wall" on the US-Mexico border, Trump said: "Yes."

There are estimated to be roughly 11m undocumented migrants in the US, the legacy of years of migration from poorer Latin American countries to the world's biggest economic power. Until recently, the focus of politicians has been integrating the "Dreamers" - those who came as children, but have spent the bulk of their lives in the US and are culturally American. 

Trump was widely viewed as winning the election on the back of anti-immigrant sentiment, but he initially toned down his rhetoric on other policies. He said that he might keep parts of Obamacare, as the healthcare reform is known, and no longer demanded the jailing of his rival in the race, Hillary Clinton. 

However, while he may go ahead with his wall, Trump is unlikely to persuade Mexico - as he promised in the campaign - to "pay for it", especially if he has just flooded the country with millions of undocumented migrants.

Julia Rampen is the digital news editor of the New Statesman (previously editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog). She has also been deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines. 

Ukip's Nigel Farage and Paul Nuttall. Photo: Getty
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Is the general election 2017 the end of Ukip?

Ukip led the way to Brexit, but now the party is on less than 10 per cent in the polls. 

Ukip could be finished. Ukip has only ever had two MPs, but it held an outside influence on politics: without it, we’d probably never have had the EU referendum. But Brexit has turned Ukip into a single-issue party without an issue. Ukip’s sole remaining MP, Douglas Carswell, left the party in March 2017, and told Sky News’ Adam Boulton that there was “no point” to the party anymore. 

Not everyone in Ukip has given up, though: Nigel Farage told Peston on Sunday that Ukip “will survive”, and current leader Paul Nuttall will be contesting a seat this year. But Ukip is standing in fewer constituencies than last time thanks to a shortage of both money and people. Who benefits if Ukip is finished? It’s likely to be the Tories. 

Is Ukip finished? 

What are Ukip's poll ratings?

Ukip’s poll ratings peaked in June 2016 at 16 per cent. Since the leave campaign’s success, that has steadily declined so that Ukip is going into the 2017 general election on 4 per cent, according to the latest polls. If the polls can be trusted, that’s a serious collapse.

Can Ukip get anymore MPs?

In the 2015 general election Ukip contested nearly every seat and got 13 per cent of the vote, making it the third biggest party (although is only returned one MP). Now Ukip is reportedly struggling to find candidates and could stand in as few as 100 seats. Ukip leader Paul Nuttall will stand in Boston and Skegness, but both ex-leader Nigel Farage and donor Arron Banks have ruled themselves out of running this time.

How many members does Ukip have?

Ukip’s membership declined from 45,994 at the 2015 general election to 39,000 in 2016. That’s a worrying sign for any political party, which relies on grassroots memberships to put in the campaigning legwork.

What does Ukip's decline mean for Labour and the Conservatives? 

The rise of Ukip took votes from both the Conservatives and Labour, with a nationalist message that appealed to disaffected voters from both right and left. But the decline of Ukip only seems to be helping the Conservatives. Stephen Bush has written about how in Wales voting Ukip seems to have been a gateway drug for traditional Labour voters who are now backing the mainstream right; so the voters Ukip took from the Conservatives are reverting to the Conservatives, and the ones they took from Labour are transferring to the Conservatives too.

Ukip might be finished as an electoral force, but its influence on the rest of British politics will be felt for many years yet. 

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