Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump had a busy day yesterday that included a last minute flight to Mexico to meet with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto followed by a major immigration speech in Arizona on Wednesday evening.
Trump’s immigration views were in the spotlight last week following comments he made on Fox’s The Sean Hannity Show about softening his approach towards deporting 11 million illegal immigrants but later in the week he back peddled and told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that he still supported a policy of having illegal immigrants leave the U.S. and then return again to gain U.S. citizenship, a controversial strategy that is costly and difficult to impose.
During his Wednesday evening immigration speech in Arizona, Trump spoke about Mexico and the United States both “winning” by building a new 2,000 border wall and “fairness” coming from a future Trump administration.
“This is the first of what I expect will be many, many conversations. And, in a Trump administration we’re going to go about creating a new relationship between our two countries, but it’s going to be a fair relationship. We want fairness” Trump said.
Trump criticized the media and special interests for the fundamental immigration policies that are holding back the U.S. and claimed that illegal immigration is costing the U.S. $113 billion a year, a figure that comes from the Federation For American Immigration Reform, a conservative anti-immigration group.
“The fundamental problem with the immigration system in our country is that it serves the needs of wealthy donors, political activists and powerful, powerful politicians” Trump said.
Trump cited some past tragic murders of U.S. citizens by illegal immigrants in the U.S. and derided President Obama’s immigration policies which said included an “open border policy.”
Trump later claimed illegal immigrants are treated better than American war vets.
Trump explained that most illegal immigrants are lower skilled workers with less education and said they are hurting a lot of our people that cannot get jobs under any circumstances.
Trump failed to mention that illegal immigrants often bridge the growing divide between low skilled and low paying jobs that many Americans refuse to accept and overlooks the fact that an anti-immigration policy that includes deporting 11 million illegal immigrants will have some economic downside for the U.S. economy.
Trump repeated his usual mantra about building a 2,000 border wall and emphasized “Mexico will pay for the wall” while not into any specifics about how he will get Mexico to pay.
“One hundred percent. They don’t know it yet, but they’re going to pay for it. And they’re great people and great leaders but they’re going to pay for the wall” Trump said.
Trump used positive and glowing terms about a “beautiful southern border wall” and said that on “day one” he will begin removing “2 million criminal aliens” inside our country which he said was cited from federal data.
However, the 2 million criminal alien figure Trump cited in his speech comes directly from the anti-immigration group Center For Immigration Studies.
Trump said he would terminate President Obama’s two “illegal executive amnesties in which he defied federal law and the Constitution to give amnesty to approximately 5 million illegal immigrants.”
Trump insisted that anyone who has entered the U.S. illegally is “subject to deportation” and suggested that if we only deport criminals instead of the other millions of illegal immigrants living in the U.S, then we support an open border.
“If we only enforced the laws against crime, then we have an open border to the entire world. We will enforce all of our immigration laws” Trump said.
Trump claimed that the presidential election on November is the “last chance” to secure the border and stop illegal immigration and reform our laws.