Donald Trump, the new US president-elect, has said he will deport three million immigrants from the US "immediately" once he assumes power in January.

The comments were made on Sunday (13 November) in his first TV interview since the US presidential election was held on Tuesday.

Throughout his campaign, Trump pledged hard-line policies on immigration, which included promising to build a wall along the US-Mexico border.

However, as events unfolded, Trump appeared to backtrack on some of the ideas mooted along the campaign trail – for example, a press statement announcing his plans to deny entry to the US to all Muslims was removed from his campaign website.

However, speaking to 60 Minutes on Sunday, Trump said: "What we are going to do is get the people that are criminal and have criminal records, gang members, drug dealers, where a lot of these people, probably two million – it could be even three million – we are getting them out of the country or we are going to incarcerate.

"After the border is secure and after everything gets normalised, we're going to make a determination on the people that they're talking about who are terrific people, they're terrific people but we are gonna make a determination at that," he said, reiterating, "But before we make that determination… it's very important, we are going to secure our border."

On the US-Mexico wall, which Trump said would be built to keep illegal immigrants travelling to the US from Mexico, and became synonymous with Trump's campaign, he was less clear on the precise shape it would take.

"There could be some fencing," he said. "For certain areas I would [accept a fence], but certain areas, a wall is more appropriate. I'm very good at this. It's called construction."

Hate crime spike

Since Trump's victory on Tuesday, there have been numerous reports of hate crimes across the US with some branding his election as a victory for white supremacists. However, most of the reports via social media are difficult to verify, or to link between them and the election result.

Shortly after Trump's victory was announced, news broke of school children in Michigan chanting, "Build that wall."

However, Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan, with whom Trump has a well-documented feud, sought to reassure US citizens earlier on Sunday, after anti-Trump protesters again took to the streets in New York and other parts of the country on Saturday.

Speaking to CNN, Ryan said: "We are not planning on erecting a deportation force.

"I think we should put the people's minds at ease: this is not what we're focused on. We're focused on securing the border.

He added: "First and foremost, before we get into any other immigration issue, we've got to know who's coming and going into the country."

Donald Trump
President-elect Donald Trump meets with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan on Capitol Hill in Washington Joshua Roberts/ Reuters