After more than a year of divisive comments regarding immigration, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump delivered a speech outlining the immigration policy he would implement if elected this November.
He delivered the speech yesterday (August 31) during a campaign stop in Phoenix, which is where he launched his campaign back in July 2015. After saying that he has “love for the people of Mexico” on the heels of a meeting with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, Trump said that “our immigration system is worse that anybody ever realized” and that only a change in leadership can fix it.
This seems to counteract recently released data from the Department of Homeland Security, which shows that immigration deportations are slightly down from 2013’s all-time high. Pew Research Center reports that the decrease in deportations—and border apprehensions—is actually tied to fewer people entering the United States, as well as the current administration’s professed focus on immigrants who have committed crimes within the United States’ borders. In 2014—the latest year for which data was released—there were 214 deportations. For 2013, that numbered topped out at 435.
But Trump did not cite that data. “When politicians talk about immigration reform, they usually mean the following: amnesty, open borders, lower wages,” he said. “Immigration reform should mean something else entirely. It should mean improvements to our laws and policies to make life better for American citizens.”
He went on to say that immigration negatively impacts Americans’ jobs, wages, schools, housing and “general living conditions,” and that it is key to welcome only the right type of immigrants:
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’s just not going to work out. It’s our right, as a sovereign nation to chose immigrants that we think are the likeliest to thrive and flourish and love us.
While repeatedly using the term “illegal immigrants,” he listed crimes he said were committed by said immigrants. He then enumerated his policy plans:
- We will build a great wall along the southern border. And Mexico will pay for the wall. One hundred percent. They don’t know it yet, but they’re going to pay for it.
- 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.
- Zero tolerance for criminal aliens. Zero. Zero. Zero.
- 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.
- 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 receive strong mandatory minimum sentences.
- We’re going to triple the number of ICE deportation officers…. We’re also going to hire 5,000 more Border Patrol agents.
- 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.
- 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.
- We are going to suspend the issuance of visas to any place where adequate screening cannot occur…. I call it extreme vetting right? Extreme vetting. 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…. 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.
- We will insure that other countries take their people back when they order them deported.
- We will finally complete the biometric entry-exit visa tracking system, which we need desperately.
- We will turn off the jobs and benefits magnet.
- We will reform legal immigration to serve the best interests of America and its workers, the forgotten people.
Read a full annotated version of Trump’s speech via The Washington Post.