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Donald Trump is expected to clarify his view on immigration in a key policy speech in Arizona on Wednesday (31 August), a week after he suggested he could soften his stance on the subject.

Trump had previously suggested building a wall between the US and Mexico, temporarily banning Muslims from entering the country, and not taking in Syrian refugees on the grounds they could be members of Isis.

However, he is set to meet Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto ahead of his immigration speech and suggested in an interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity he could be flexible on those law-abiding illegal immigrants who have been in the country for years.

"There certainly can be a softening, because we're not looking to hurt people," Trump said. "We want people; we have some great people in this country."

However, two days later, Trump said in an interview with CNN: "I don't think it's a softening. I've had people say it's a hardening, actually."

The GOP candidate has been accused of flip-flopping on an issue that propelled him into a viable candidate for the party during primary season, with his tough-talk on immigration capturing swathes of voters and drawing equal criticism from the left – particularly in response to his comments on Mexican immigrants.

However, he is in a position where he is now attempting to court the Latino vote, and must tread carefully if he wishes to retain the support gained from immigration hardliners.

It is not clear what will be discussed at the private meeting with Peña Nieto, or how the meeting will affect any immigration policy plans to be announced in Arizona, but it is clear Trump must clarify his position on immigration ahead of September's campaigning if he wishes to firm up his support base.