After more than a week of seeming to change direction on immigration policy, and then apparently turning back to his original plan, Donald Trump delivered a speech on the issue Wednesday night in Phoenix.
NPR's politics team annotated Trump's speech below. Portions we commented on are highlighted, followed by analysis, context and fact check in italics.
What a crowd, what a beautifcul crowd. Thank you, thank you. Wow. That's a lot of people Phoenix, that's a lot of people. Thank you very much. Thank you.
Thank you Phoenix. I am so glad to be back in Arizona. A state that has a very very special place in my heart. I love the people of Arizona and together we are going to win the White House in November. Now you know, this is where it all began for me. Remember that massive crowd also. So I said let's go have some fun tonight, we're going to Arizona.
This will be a little bit different, this won't be a rally speech per se.
Instead, I'm going to deliver a detailed policy address on one of the greatest challenges facing our country today, illegal immigration.
I've just landed, having returned from a very important and special meeting with the president of Mexico. A man I like and respect very much and a man who truly loves his country, Mexico.
And by the way, just like I am a man who loves my country, the United States.
We agreed on the importance of ending the illegal flow of drugs, cash, guns and people across our border and to put the cartels out of business.
We also discussed the great contributions of Mexican American citizens to our two countries, my love for the people of Mexico and the leadership and friendship that we have between Mexico and the United States. It was a thoughtful and substantive conversation, and it will go on for a while and in the end we're all going to win. Both countries. We're all going to win.
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.
But to fix our immigration system, we must change our leadership in Washington and we must change it quickly. Sadly, sadly, there is no other way. The truth is our immigration system is worse than anybody ever realized. But the facts aren't known because the media won't report on them, the politicians won't talk about them and the special interests spend a lot of money trying to cover them up because they are making an absolute fortune. That's the way it is.
Today on a very complicated and very difficult subject, you will get the truth. The fundamental problem with the immigration system in our country is it serves the needs of wealthy donors, political activists and powerful, powerful politicians. It's all you can do, thank you, thank you.
Let me tell you who it does not serve. It does not serve you, the American people. Doesn't serve you.
When politicians talk about immigration reform, they usually mean the following: amnesty, open borders, lower wages.
[The bipartisan immigration reform bill (the "Gang of Eight" bill) the Senate passed in 2013 would not have meant "open borders" — it would have increased border security, for example, and included an employer verification system, as Politico reported at the time. — Danielle Kurtzleben]
Immigration reform should mean something else entirely. It should mean improvements to our laws and policies to make life better for American citizens.
But if we're going to make our immigration system work, then we have to be prepared to talk honestly and without fear about these important and very sensitive issues. For instance, we have to listen to the concerns that working people — our forgotten working people — have over the record pace of immigration and its impact on their jobs, wages, housing, schools, tax bills and general living conditions.
[Trump lamented the "record pace" of immigration, but between 2009 and 2014, the U.S. has actually seen more people LEAVING the U.S. than coming in, a net loss of 140,000 immigrants. --Domenico Montanaro]
These are valid concerns expressed by decent and patriotic citizens from all backgrounds all over. We also have to be honest about the fact that not everyone who seeks to join our country will be able to successfully assimilate. Sometimes it just not going to work out.
It's our right as a sovereign nation to choose immigrants that we think are the likeliest to thrive, and flourish and love us.
Then there's the issue of security. Countless innocent American lives have been stolen because our politicians have failed in their duty to secure our borders and enforce our laws like they have to be enforced. I have met with many of the great parents who lost their children to sanctuary cities and open borders. So many people. So many, many people. So sad. They will be joining me on the stage in a little while and I look forward to introducing — these are amazing, amazing people.
Countless Americans who have died in recent years would be alive today if not for the open border policies of this administration and the administration that causes this horrible, horrible thought process. It's called Hillary Clinton. This includes incredible Americans like 21-year-old Sarah Root. The man who killed her arrived at the border, entered federal custody, and then was released into the U.S. - think of it - into the U.S. community under the policies of the White House Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Weak, weak, weak policies. Weak and foolish policies. He was released again after the crime and now he's out there at large. Sarah had graduated from college with a 4.0 top student in her class, one day before her death. Also among the victims of the Obama-Clinton open border policy was Grant Ronnebeck, a 21-year-old convenience store clerk and a really good guy from Mesa, Ariz. A lot of you have known about about Grant. He was murdered by an illegal immigrant gang member previously convicted of burglary who had also been released from federal custody. And they knew it was going to happen again.
Another victim is Kate Steinle, gunned down in the sanctuary of San Francisco by an illegal immigrant deported five previous times. And they knew he was no good. Then there's the case of 90-year-old Earl Olander who was brutally beaten and left to bleed to death. Ninety-years-old and defenseless. The perpetrators were illegal immigrants with criminal records a mile long who did not meet Obama administration standards for removal. And they knew it was going to happen.
In California, a 64-year-old Air Force veteran, a great woman according to everybody that knew her, Marilyn Pharis was sexually assaulted and beaten to death with a hammer. Her killer had been arrested on multiple occasions but was never, ever deported despite the fact that everybody wanted him out.
[Trump cited multiple cases of people who had crimes committed against them, sometimes violent crimes. He noted the case of Marilyn Pharis of California. CBS News reported she was killed in a violent assault. The man was in the U.S. illegally and had been arrested two weeks earlier for meth possession. The Santa Maria, Calif., police chief lambasted the system. "You know what we had to do? We had to cite him out, that's the problem with this system, this is not just in Santa Maria, this is all over the state of California and all over the United States. ... I am not remiss to say that from Washington, D.C., to Sacramento there's a blood trail leading to the bedroom of Marilyn Pharis." — Domenico Montanaro]
A 2011 report from the Government Accountability Office found that illegal immigrants and other non-citizens in our prisons and jails together had around 25,000 homicide arrests to their names. 25,000. On top of that, illegal immigration costs our country more than $113 billion a year and this is what we get.
For the money we are going to spend on illegal immigration over the next 10 years, we could provide one million at risk students with a school voucher, which so many people are wanting.
While there are many illegal immigrants in our country who are good people, many many, this doesn't change the fact that most illegal immigrants are lower skilled workers with less education who compete directly against vulnerable American workers and that these illegal workers draw much more out from the system than they can ever possibly pay back. And they're hurting a lot of our people that cannot get jobs under any circumstances.
But these facts are never reported. Instead the media, and my opponent, discuss one thing and only one thing. The needs of people living here illegally. In many cases, by the way, they're treated better than our vets. Not going to happen anymore folks, November 8. Not going to happen any more.
The truth is the central issue is not the needs of the 11 million illegal immigrants or however there may be — and honestly we've been hearing that number of years. It's always been 11 million. Our government has no idea. It could be 3 million, it could be 30 million, they have no idea what the number is.
[The count of undocumented immigrants is an estimate, but several estimates put it in the same ballpark — and it's the 11 million ballpark, nowhere near 30 million. The Pew Research Center puts it at 11.3 million (a number that has held relatively steady for years, by their estimate, and is down by nearly 1 million from a recent peak in 2007). As of January 2012, the Department of Homeland Security put the count at 11.4 million. Trump has in fact made the 30 million claim before, and Politifact shot him down, labeling it "pants on fire," finding other independent estimates that were in the 11 to 12 million range. — Danielle Kurtzleben]
Frankly, our government has no idea what they're doing on many, many fronts folks. But whatever the number, that's never really been the central issue. It will never be a central issue. It doesn't matter from that standpoint.
Anyone who tells you the core issue is the needs of those living here illegally has simply spent too much time in Washington.
Only the out-of-touch media elites think the biggest problem facing American — you know this, you know this, this is what they talk about — facing American society today is that there are 11 million illegal immigrants who don't have legal status. And they also think the biggest thing — and you know this — is not nuclear, it's not ISIS, it's not Russia, it's not China, it's global warming.
To all politicians, donors and special interests, hear these words from me and all of you today. There is only one core issue in the immigration debate and that issue is the well-being of the American people. Nothing even comes a close second. Hillary Clinton for instance talks constantly about her fears that families will be separated. But she's not talking about the American families who have been permanently separated from their loved ones because of a preventable homicide, because of a preventable death, because of murder. No, she's only talking about families who come here in violation of the law. We will treat everyone living or residing in our country with great dignity, so important. We will be fair, just, and compassionate to all. But our greatest compassion must be for our American citizens.
[Trump has made crime committed by undocumented immigrants a major theme of his campaign. While he has spotlighted several real cases of murders committed by people in the country illegally, the context here is important. Multiple analyses have found that immigrants commit violent crime at a lower rate than those born in the United States.-Sarah McCammon]
Thank you, thank you.
President Obama and Hillary Clinton have engaged in gross dereliction of duty by surrendering the safety of the American people to open borders and you know it better than anybody right here in Arizona. President Obama and Hillary Clinton support sanctuary cities. THey support tax and release on the border. They support visa overstays. They support the release of dangerous, dangerous, dangerous criminals from detention. And they support unconstitutional, executive amnesty.
Hillary Clinton has pledged amnesty in her first 100 days and her plan will provide Obamacare, Social Security and Medicare for illegal immigrants breaking the federal budget. On top of that she promises uncontrolled, low-skilled immigration that continues to reduce jobs and wages for American workers and especially for African-American and Hispanic workers within our country our citizens.
Most incredibly, because to me this is unbelievable, we have no idea who these people are, where these people are. I always say Trojan Horse - watch what's going to happen folks, it's not going to be pretty. This includes her plan to bring in 620,000 new refugees from Syria and that region over a short period of time. And even yesterday when you were watching the news, you saw thousands and thousands of people coming in from Syria. What is wrong with our politicians, our leaders, if we can call them that. What the hell are we doing?
Hard to believe, hard to believe.
Now that you've heard about Hillary Clinton's plan, about which she has not answered a single question, let me tell you about my plan.
[Agree with Clinton's immigration policies or not, it's impossible to argue she "has not answered a single question" about them. She recently answered questions about immigration at a conference of black and Hispanic journalists, for example, and she has addressed questions about it in other interviews as well. — Danielle Kurtzleben]
And you notice all the time for weeks and weeks, they're debating my plan, debating it, talking about it, what about this, what about that? They never even mention her plan on immigration because she doesn't want to get into the quagmire, it's a tough one. She doesn't know what she's doing except open borders and let everybody come in and destroy our country, by the way.
While Hillary Clinton meets only with donors and lobbyists, my plan was crafted with the input from federal immigration officers, very great people, among the top immigration experts anywhere in this country who represent workers, not corporations. Very important to us.
I also worked with lawmakers who've led on this issue on behalf of American citizens for many years. And, most importantly, I've met with the people directly impacted by these policies. So important.
Number one. Are you ready? Are you ready? We will build a great wall along the Southern border. And Mexico will pay for the wall.
[After his meeting with Donald Trump today, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto reiterated his insistence that Mexico would not pay for construction of a border wall. Pena Nieto said he made that clear to Trump during their meeting, although Trump told reporters that the issue of payment was not discussed. — Scott Horsley ]
On day one, we will begin working on an impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful, beautiful Southern border wall. We will use the best technology, including above-and below-ground sensors, that's the tunnels. Remember that, above and below. Above and below ground sensors. Towers, aerial surveillance and manpower to supplement the wall, find and dislocate tunnels, and keep out the criminal cartels, and Mexico, you know that, will work with us. Mexico will work with us, I absolutely believe it. And especially after meeting with their wonderful, wonderful president today I really believe they want to solve this problem along with us and I'm sure they will.
Number two, we are going to end catch and release.
Under my administration, anyone who illegally crosses the border will be detained until they are removed out of our country and back to the country from which they came. And they'll be brought great distances, we're not dropping them right across. They learned that, President Eisenhower, they dropped them across, right across, they'd come back and they'd come back. Then when they flew 'em to a long distance, all of a sudden that was the end. We will take them great distances but we will take them to the country where they came from. OK?
[Trump cited President Eisenhower, referencing his "Operation Wetback," the program undertaken by Eisenhower to deport immigrants in the U.S. illegally. FactCheck.org notes that he deported some 2.1 million, a figure that is "criticized as inflated by guesswork." More have been deported during President Obama's time in office. No one has deported as many as 11 million that are currently within the U.S. — Domenico Montanaro]
Number three, number three. This is the one I think this it's so great, it's hard to believe people don't even talk about it. Zero tolerance for criminal aliens. Zero. Zero. Zero. They don't come in here, they don't come in here.
According to federal data, there are at least 2 million, 2 million think of it, criminal aliens now inside of our country. Two million people, criminal aliens. We will begin moving them out day one, as soon as I take office, day one, in joint operations with local, state and federal law enforcement.
Now, just so you understand, the police, who we all respect. Say hello to the police. Boy, they don't get the credit they deserve, I can tell you. They're great people. But the police and law enforcement, they know who these people are. They live with these people. They get mocked by these people. They can't do anything about these people, and they want to. They know who these people are.
Day one, my first hour in office, those people are gone. And you can call it deported if you want, the press doesn't like that term. You can call it whatever the hell you want, they're gone.
Beyond the 2 million, and there are a vast number of additional criminal illegal immigrants who have fled. But their days have run out in this country. The crime will stop, they're going to be gone. It will be over.
They're go out, they're going out fast.
Moving forward, we will issue detainers for all illegal immigrants who are arrested for any crime whatsoever, and they will be placed into immediate removal proceedings if we even have to do that. We will terminate the Obama Administration's deadly non-enforcement policies that allow thousands of criminal aliens to freely roam our streets, walk around, do whatever they want to do. Crime all over the place. That's over, that's over folks. That's over.
Since 2013 alone, the Obama Administration has allowed 300,000 criminal aliens to return back into United States communities – these are individuals encountered or identified by ICE but who are not detained or processed for deportation because it wouldn't have been politically correct.
My plan also includes cooperating closely with local jurisdictions to remove criminal aliens immediately. We will restore the highly successful Secure Communities program, good program. We will expand and revitalize the popular 287(g) partnerships, which will help to identify hundreds of thousands of deportable aliens in local jails that we don't even know about. Both of these programs have been recklessly gutted by this Administration. And those were programs that worked. This is yet one more area where we are headed in a totally opposite direction.
There's no common sense, there's no brain power in our administration by our leader or our leaders. None, none, none, none.
On my first day in office, I am also going to ask Congress to pass "Kate's Law" – named for Kate Steinle – to ensure that criminal aliens convicted of illegal reentry face receive strong mandatory minimum sentences. Strong, and then we get 'em out.
Another reform I am proposing is the passage of legislation named for Detective Michael Davis and Deputy Sheriff Danny Oliver, two law enforcement officers recently killed by a previously-deported illegal immigrant. The Davis-Oliver bill will enhance cooperation with state and local authorities to ensure that criminal immigrants and terrorists are swiftly, really swiftly, identified and removed. And they're going to go fast, believe me, they're going to go fast.
We are going to triple the number of ICE deportation officers. Within ICE, I am going to create a new special Deportation Task Force, focused on identifying and quickly removing the most dangerous criminal illegal immigrants in America who have evaded justice. Just like Hillary Clinton has evaded justice, OK? Maybe they'll be able to deport her.
The local police know who every one of these criminals and they know each and every one, by name, by crime, they will work so fast and our local police will be so happy that they don't have to be abused by these thugs anymore.. There's no great mystery to it, they've put up with it for years.
And now, finally, we will turn the tables and law enforcement and our police will be allowed to clear up this dangerous and threatening mess.
We're also going to hire 5,000 more Border Patrol agents, who gave me their endorsement, 16,500 gave me their endorsement, and put more of them on the border, instead of behind desks, which is good. We will expand the number of Border Patrol Stations significantly.
I've had a chance to spend time with these incredible law enforcement officers, and I want to take a moment to thank them. What they do is incredible. And getting their endorsement means so much to me, more to me really than I can really say. It means so much, first time they've ever endorsed a presidential candidate.
[Trump noted that the Border Patrol endorsed him. It's true that the National Border Patrol Council, the union of the U.S. border patrol agents, endorsed him during the primary, calling Trump "the only candidate who actually threatens the established powers that have betrayed this country." But it hasn't been without controversy. The L.A. Times noted that "the rank-and-file seem as polarized about Trump as the rest of the nation, with some going so far as to challenge their union leaders' decision." — Domenico Montanaro]
Number four: block funding for sanctuary cities. We block the funding, no more funding.
We will end the Sanctuary Cities that have resulted in so many needless deaths. Cities that refuse to cooperate with federal authorities will not receive taxpayer dollars, and we will work with Congress to pass legislation to protect those jurisdictions that do assist federal authorities.
Number five, cancel unconstitutional executive orders and enforce all immigration laws.
We will immediately 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. 5 million. And how about all of the millions who are waiting on line going through the process legally. So unfair.
[In 2012, President Obama granted a temporary reprieve from deportation to certain immigrants who were brought to the country illegally as children. Upwards of 600,000 young people took advantage of that offer, which also made them eligible for work permits. In 2014, Obama tried to expand his deportation reprieve to millions of additional immigrants, most of whom had children who are U.S. citizens or green-card holders. Texas and other states challenged that action, and a federal judge in Texas put the president's executive order on hold. That stay remains in place, after a short-handed Supreme Court deadlocked 4-4 earlier this year. — Scott Horsley.]
Hillary Clinton has pledged to keep both of these illegal amnesty programs – including the 2014 amnesty which has been blocked by the United States Supreme Court. Great. Clinton has also pledged to add a third executive amnesty. And by the way, folks, she will be a disaster for our country. A disaster. In so many other ways. And don't forget the Supreme Court of the United States don't forget that. When you go to vote November 8. And don't forget your second amendment and don't forget the repeal and replacement of Obamacare. And don't forget building up our depleted military. And don't forget taking care of our vets. Don't forget our vets, they've been forgotten.
Clinton's plan would trigger a Constitutional Crisis unlike almost anything we have ever seen before. In effect, she would be abolishing the lawmaking powers of Congress in order to write her own laws from the Oval Office. And you see what bad judgment she has. She has seriously bad judgment.
In a Trump Administration, all immigration laws will be enforced. Will be enforced.
As with any law enforcement activity, we will set priorities.
But, unlike this Administration, no one will be immune or exempt from enforcement – and ICE and Border Patrol officers will be allowed to do their jobs the way their jobs are supposed to be done. Anyone who has entered the United States illegally is subject to deportation – that is what it means to have laws and to have a country. Otherwise we don't have a country.
Our enforcement priorities will include removing criminals, gang members, security threats, visa overstays, public charges – that is, those relying on public welfare or straining the safety net, along with millions of recent illegal arrivals and overstays who've come here under the current administration.
[By prioritizing removal of immigrants who commit crimes, threaten security, and who have arrived recently, Trump is essentially mirroring the enforcement priorities of the Obama Administration. --Scott Horsley]
Number six, we are going to suspend the issuance of visas to any place where adequate screening cannot occur.
[Trump's position on which potential immigrants to keep out of the country because of terrorism fears has shifted multiple times throughout his campaign. Late last year, in the wake of a mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, Trump began with a call to ban all Muslims from entering the United States. In June, after a gunman who'd pledged loyalty to ISIS shot and killed 50 people, including himself, at an Orlando nightclub, Trump called for banning refugees from countries with a "terrorist presence," even though the shooter was born in the United States. In his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, Trump repeated a similar position and also talked about countries where thorough vetting is difficult. He's also recently called for what he describes as "extreme vetting" based on ideology. -Sarah McCammon]
According to data provided to the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, between 9/11 and the end of 2014, at least 380 foreign-born individuals were convicted in terror cases inside the United States. And even right now, the largest number of people are under investigation for exactly this, that we've ever had in the history of our country. Our country is a mess. We don't even know what to look for anymore, folks. Our country has to straighten out and we have to straighten out fast.
The number is likely higher, but the Administration refuses to provide this information to Congress.
As soon as I enter office, I am going to ask the Department of State, which has been brutalized by Hillary Clinton, brutalized, Homeland Security and the Department of Justice to begin a comprehensive review of these cases in order to develop a list of regions and countries from which immigration must be suspended until proven and effective vetting mechanisms can be put into place. I call it extreme vetting, right? I want extreme, it's going to be so tough, and if somebody comes in that's fine but they're going to be good. It's extreme. And if people don't like it, we gotta have a country, folks. Gotta have a country.
[It's true that Obama administration officials have expressed concerns about how to screen refugees from war-torn regions with little documentation. But the White House also says refugees undergo the most rigorous vetting process of any category of immigrants entering the United States. — Sarah McCammon]
Countries from which immigration will be suspended would include places like Syria and Libya. And we are going to stop the tens of thousands of people coming in from Syria. We have no idea who they are, where they come from, there's no documentation, there's no paperwork. It's going to end badly folks, it's going to end very, very badly.
For the price of resettling one refugee in the United States, 12 could be resettled in a safe zone in their home region which I agree with 100 percent. We have to build safe zones and we'll get the money from the gulf states. We don't want to put up the money, we owe almost $20 trillion. Double since Obama took office. Our national debt. But we will get the money from gulf states and others. We'll supervise it, we'll build safe zones which is something I think all of us want to see.
Another reform involves new screening tests for all applicants that include — and this is so important especially if you get the right people, and we will get the right people — an ideological certification to make sure that those we are admitting to our country share our values and love our people.
Thank you, we're very proud of our country aren't we? With all it's going through, we're very proud of our country.
For instance, in the last five years, we've admitted nearly 100,000 immigrants from Iraq and Afghanistan – in these two countries, according to Pew research, a majority of residents say that the barbaric practice of honor killings against women are often or sometimes justified that's what they say. That's what they say, they're justified. And we're admitting them through our country.
Applicants will be asked for their views about honor killings, about respect for women and gays and minorities, attitudes on Radical Islam, which our president refuses to say, and many other topics as part of the vetting procedure. And if we have the right people doing it, believe me, very few people will slip through the cracks. Hopefully none.
Number seven: We will ensure that other countries take their people back when we order them deported.
There are at least 23 countries that refuse to take their people back after they have been ordered to leave the United States, including large numbers of violent criminals. They won't take 'em back. So we say OK, we'll keep 'em. Not going to happen with me folks, not going to happen. Due to a Supreme Court decision, if these violent offenders cannot be sent home, our law enforcement officers have to release them into your communities. And by the way, the results are horrific, horrific. There are often terrible consequences, such as Casey Chadwick's tragic death in Connecticut just last year. Yet, despite the existence of a law that commands the Secretary of State to stop issuing visas to these countries, Secretary Hillary Clinton ignored this law and refused to use this powerful tool to bring nations into compliance. And they would comply if we would act properly. In other words, if we had leaders who knew what they were doing which we don't.
The result of her misconduct was the release of thousands and thousands of dangerous criminal aliens who should have been sent home to their countries. Instead, we have 'em all over the place. Probably a couple in this room as a matter of fact. But I hope not.
According to a report from the Boston Globe, from the year 2008 through 2014, nearly 13,000 criminal aliens were released back into U.S. communities because their home countries would not under any circumstances take them back. Hard to believe with the power that we have. We're like the big bully that keeps getting beat up, that keep getting beat up. These 13,000 releases occurred on Hillary Clinton's watch – she had the power and the duty to stop it cold and she decided she would not do it. And Arizona knows better than most exactly what I'm talking about.
[Trump appears to be referring to this Boston Globe article in which ICE told the Globe that 12,941 were released from 2008 to 2014. The numbers were actually higher, over 86,000, the Globe notes, between 2013 and 2015 alone. The 12,941 figure was a number that the Supreme Court forced ICE to release, according to the Globe. Not all were violent criminals, and some 140 countries would not cooperate with deportations. It's not clear, however, what specifically Donald Trump is suggesting Hillary Clinton could have done about that. — Domenico Montanaro]
Those released include individuals convicted of killings, sexual assault and some of the most heinous crimes imaginable. The Boston Globe writes that a Globe review of 323 criminals released in New England from 2008 to 2012 found that as many as 30 percent committed new offenses including rape, attempted murder and child molestation. We take 'em, we take 'em.
Number eight, we will finally complete the biometric entry-exit visa tracking system which we need desperately.
For years, Congress has required biometric entry-exit visa tracking system, but it has never been completed. The politicians are all talk, no action. Never happens, never happens. Hillary Clinton, all talk — unfortunately when there is action it's always the wrong decision, do you ever notice?
In my Administration, we will ensure that this system is in place — and I will tell you it will be on land, it will be on sea, it will be in air. We will have a proper tracking system. Approximately half of new illegal immigrants came on temporary visas and then never, ever left. Why should they? Nobody's telling them to leave. Stay as long as you want, we'll take care of you. Beyond violating our laws, visa overstays - and they really are a big problem - pose a substantial threat to national security. The 9/11 Commission said that this tracking system should be a high priority and "would have assisted law enforcement and intelligence officials in August and September 2001 in conducting a search for two of the 9/11 hijackers that were in the U.S. on expired visas." And you know what that would have meant, what that could have meant. Wouldn't that have been wonderful? What that would have meant.
Last year alone, nearly a half a million individuals overstayed their temporary visas. Removing visa overstays will be a top priority of my Administration.
If people around the world believe they can just come on a temporary visa and never ever leave – the Obama-Clinton policy – that's what it is — then we have a completely open border and we no longer have a country. We must send the message that visa expiration dates will be strongly enforced.
Number nine, we will turn off the jobs and benefits magnet.
We will ensure that E-Verify is used to the fullest extent possible under existing law, and will work with Congress to strengthen and expand its use across the country.
[E-Verify is an online system that allows employers to check whether job applicants are authorized to work in this country. It's used by less than 10 percent of employers today, but expanding the system was an important component of the bipartisan immigration bill passed by the Senate in 2013. (It died in the House.) E-Verify faces lingering challenges, including "false negatives" when people who should be allowed to work are shown to be ineligible, and privacy concerns. — Scott Horsley]
Immigration law doesn't exist just for the purpose of keeping out criminals. It exists to protect all aspects of American life – the worksite, the welfare office, the education system and everything else. That is why immigration limits are established in the first place. If we only enforce the laws against crime, then we have an open border to the entire world.
We will enforce all of our immigration laws.
The same goes for government benefits. The Center for Immigration Studies estimates that 62 percent of households headed by illegal immigrants used some form of cash or non-cash welfare programs, like food stamps or housing assistance. Tremendous costs, by the way, to our country. Tremendous costs. This directly violates the federal public charge law designed to protect the U.S. treasury.
Those who abuse our welfare system will be priorities for immediate removal.
Number 10, we will reform legal immigration to serve the best interests of America and its workers. The forgotten people, workers. We're going to take care of our workers. And by the way, we're going to make great trade deals. We're going to negotiate trade deals, we're going to be bring our jobs back home, we're going to bring our jobs back home. We have the most incompetently worked trade deals ever negotiated probably in the history of the world and that starts with NAFTA. And now they want to go TPP, one of the great disasters. And if countries want to leave Arizona, and if they want to leave other states, there's going to be a lot of trouble for them, it's not going to be so easy. There will be consequence, remember that. There will be consequence. They're not going to be leaving, go to another country, make the product, sell it to the United States and all we end up with is no taxes and total unemployment. It's not going to happen, there will be consequences.
We've admitted 59 million immigrants to the United States between 1965 and 2015.
Many of these arrivals have greatly enriched our country, so true. But we now have an obligation to them, and to their children, to control future immigration – as we have following, if you think, previous immigration waves, we've had some big waves and tremendously positive things have happened, incredible things have happened – to ensure assimilation we want to ensure that it works. Assimilation, an important word, integration and upward mobility.
Within just a few years immigration as a share of national population is set to break all historical records.
The time has come for a new immigration commission to develop a new set of reforms to our legal immigration system in order to achieve the following goals:
- To keep immigration levels, measured by population share, within historical norms
- To select immigrants based on their likelihood of success in U.S. society, and their ability to be financially self-sufficient. We take anybody, come on in, just anybody. Not anymore. You know folks, it's called a two-way street. It's a two-way street
We need a system that serves our needs, not the needs of others – remember, under a Trump administration it's called America First.
- To choose immigrants based on merit, merit, skill and proficiency. Doesn't that sound nice?
- And to establish new immigration controls to boost wages and to ensure that open jobs are offered to American workers first. And that, in particular, African-American and Latino workers who are being shut out in this process so unfairly. And Hillary Clinton is going to do nothing for the African-American worker, the Latino worker, she's going to do nothing. Give me your vote, she says, on November 8 and then she'll say so long, see you in four years. That's what it is. She's going to do nothing. Just look at the past, she's done nothing, she's been there for 35 years she's done nothing. And I say, what do you have to lose, choose me, watch how good we're going to do together, watch. You watch.
We want people to come into our country, but they have to come into our country legally and properly-vetted, and in a manner that serves the national interest.
We've been living under outdated immigration rules from decades ago. They're decades and decades old. To avoid this happening in the future, I believe we should sunset our visa laws so that Congress is forced to periodically revise and revisit them. They're archaic, they're ancient. We wouldn't put our entire federal budget on autopilot for decades, so why should we do the same for the very very complex subject of immigration?
So let's now talk about the big picture.
These 10 steps, if rigorously followed and enforced, will accomplish more in a matter of months than our politicians have accomplished on this issue in the last 50 years. It's what's going to happen folks.
Because I am proudly not a politician, because I am not beholden to any special interest, I've spent a lot of money on my campaign, I'll tell you I write those checks. Nobody owns Trump. I will get this done for you and your family. You'll be proud of our country again, we'll do it right.
We will accomplish all of the steps outlined above, and when we do, peace and law and justice and prosperity will prevail. Crime will go down, border crossings will plummet, gangs will disappear, and the gangs are all over the place, and welfare use will decrease.
[Trump said "welfare use will decrease" when he's president. But it is a myth that immigrants in the U.S. illegally qualify for those subsidies. As CNN noted in 2014: "Undocumented immigrants do not qualify for welfare, food stamps, Medicaid, and most other public benefits. Most of these programs require proof of legal immigration status and under the 1996 welfare law, even legal immigrants cannot receive these benefits until they have been in the United States for more than five years." — Domenico Montanaro]
We will have a peace dividend to spend on rebuilding America, beginning with our American inner cities. We're going to rebuild them for once and for all.
For those here illegally today who are seeking legal status, they will have one route and only one route: to return home and apply for re-entry like everybody else under the rules of the new legal immigration system that I have outlined above. Those who have left to seek entry under this new system, and it will be an efficient system, will not be awarded surplus visas, but will have to enter under the immigration caps or limits that will be established in the future.
[Here Trump endorses the notion that people will be forced, or will choose to return home, and then "get in line" to come here legally. According to the State Department, there are currently 1.3 million Mexicans who are waiting in line for a visa. Only a small fraction have any realistic hope of seeing a visa anytime soon. Trump is talking about establishing new visas caps or limits under rules that haven't been determined. – Richard Gonzales]
We will break the cycle of amnesty and illegal immigration. There will be no amnesty.
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.
This declaration alone will help stop the crisis of illegal crossings and illegal overstays, very importantly. People will know that you can't just smuggle in, hunker down, and wait to be legalized. It's not going to work that way. Those days are over.
Importantly, in several years, when we have accomplished all of our enforcement goals – and truly ended illegal immigration for good, including the construction of a great wall, which we will have built in record time and at a reasonable cost which you never hear from the government and the establishment of our new lawful immigration system – then and only then will we be in a position to consider the appropriate disposition of those who remain. That discussion can only take place in an atmosphere in which illegal immigration is a memory of the past, no longer with us, allowing us to weigh the different options available based on the new circumstances at the time.
[This was the big question mark coming into tonight's speech. Trump has sent mixed signals in recent days over how he would handle the millions of immigrants who are living in the country illegally but whose only crime was crossing the border without authorization. Trump made it clear tonight that there will be no path to legalization for these immigrants, short of returning to their home country and re-applying. But he left open the question of whether broader deportations would be necessary. --Scott Horsley]
Right now, however, we are in the middle of a jobs crisis, a border crisis, and a terrorism crisis like never before.
[It's hard to characterize the current job market as being in "crisis," especially considering where it has been. Unemployment is at 4.9 percent, down from a post-recession high of 10 percent. There are still some signs of problems leftover from the recession — the length of unemployment still hasn't quite recovered to prerecession levels, for example. However, the economy is looking solid enough that chatter is building about the Fed raising interest rates soon — Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer recently said that the U.S. is "very close to full employment." — Danielle Kurtzleben]
All energies of the federal government and the legislative process must now be focused on immigration security,. That is the only conversation we should be having at this time. Immigration security, cut it off.
Whether it's dangerous materials being smuggled across the border, terrorists entering on visas, or Americans losing their jobs to foreign workers, these are the problems we must now focus on fixing – and the media needs to begin demanding to hear Hillary Clinton's answer on how her policies will affect Americans and their security.
These are matters of life-and-death for our country and its people, and we deserve answers from Hillary Clinton. And you notice? She doesn't answer. She didn't go to Louisiana, she didn't go to Mexico, she was invited, she doesn't have the strength or the stamina to make America great again, believe me.
What we do know, despite the lack of media curiosity, is that Hillary Clinton promises a radical amnesty combined with a radical reduction in immigration enforcement. Just ask the border patrol about Hillary Clinton. You won't like what you're hearing. The result will be millions more illegal immigrants, thousands more violent horrible crimes, and total chaos and lawlessness. That's what's going to happen as sure as you're standing there.
This election is our last chance - and I believe this - to secure the border, stop illegal immigration, and reform our laws to make your life better. I really believe this is it. This is our last time. November 8, November 8. You gotta get out and vote November 8. It's our last chance, it's our last chance. And that includes Supreme Court justices and second amendement, remember that.
So I want to remind everyone what we are fighting for – and who we are fighting for.
So I am going to ask — these are really special people that I've gotten to know — all the Angel Moms to come join me on the stage right now. These are amazing women.
[The family of Kate Steinle did not appear on stage with Trump. They have a federal lawsuit pending against the former Sheriff of San Francisco and two federal agencies blaming them for Kate Steinle's death. – Richard Gonzales]
I've become friends with so many:
That is tough stuff, I will tell you. Incredible people. Now is the time for these voices to be heard.
Now is the time for the media to begin asking questions on their behalf.
Now is the time for all of us, as one country, Democrat and Republican, liberal and conservative, to band together to deliver justice and safety and security for all Americans.
Let's fix this horrible, horrible problem. It can be fixed quickly.
Let's secure our border.
Let's stop the drugs and the crime.
Let's protect our Social Security and Medicare.
And let's get unemployed Americans off of welfare and back to work in their own country. This has been an incredible evening. We're going to remember this evening. November 8, we have to get everybody- this is such an important state, we have to get everybody go to out and vote. We're going to bring, thank you, thank you.
We're going to take our country back, folks, this is a movement. We're going to take our country back. Thank you, thank you. This is an incredible movement. The world is talking about it. The world is talking about it. And by the way, if you haven't been looking at what's been happening with the polls in the last 3-4 days, you should start looking.
Together, we can save American lives, American jobs, and American futures.
Together, we can save America itself.
Join me in this mission we're going to Make America Great Again.
Thank you, I love you, thank you, God Bless you everybody!