White House candidate vows to break ‘cycle of amnesty and illegal immigration’
White House hopeful Donald Trump issued a stern anti-immigration warning after visiting Mexico, saying people who crossed into the United States illegally would never obtain legal status.
“Our message to the world will be this: you cannot obtain legal status or become a citizen of the United States by illegally entering our country,” he said in a speech in Phoenix as he laid out a 10-point plan to crack down on illegal immigration.
“You can’t just smuggle in, hunker down and wait to be legalised.
Those days are over,” Trump said.
It was one in a series of stark declarations that framed a sweeping plan to crack down on illegal immigration following his more measured tone earlier in the day, when the Republican nominee huddled with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.
“We will break the cycle of amnesty and illegal immigration,” Trump declared to a rowdy crowd in Phoenix. Immigration is Trump’s signature issue as he battles Democrat Hillary Clinton before the November 8 election.
The fiery speech confirmed Tr ump’s hard line on immigration shortly after he insisted to Pena Nieto that a giant wall would be built on the US-Mexico border if he was elected.
The billionaire candidate’s plan includes deporting immigrants with criminal records, cancelling President Barack Obama’s executive orders protecting millions of undocumented migrants, and blocking federal funding to so-called “sanctuary cities” that bar discrimination against the undocumented.
Clinton has expressed support for a pathway to citizenship for most of America’s undocumented.
Her campaign called Trump’s performance part of his “campaign of hate”.
Trump’s tense international trip to Mexico on Wednesday saw him navigate a political tightrope just 69 days before the election.
While he insisted – as he regularly does on the campaign trail – that Mexico will pay for the wall, he said that he and Pena Nieto did not discuss who would fund the construction.
But Pena Nieto contradicted Trump, tweeting that he had told the Republican nominee in their meeting that Mexico would not pay for such a wall.
“At the start of the conversation with Donald Trump I made it clear that Mexico will not pay for the wall,” Pena Nieto wrote after Trump left Mexico City for Phoenix.
Later in Phoenix, Trump said: “We will issue detainers for illegal immigrants who are arrested for any crime whatsoever and they will be placed into immediate removal proceedings.”
Political analyst Bakari Sellers branded the speech “nationalism on steroids”.
Several of Trump’s major Latino supporters said they were considering dropping their backing following his speech, Politico reported.