Hours after returning from his trip to Mexico and a visit with that nation's leader, Donald Trump expounded on his immigration plan during a speech in Arizona. First and foremost was a familiar sentiment: "We will build a great wall along the southern border," Trump said to rousing cheers. "And Mexico will pay for the wall. They don't know it yet, but they're going to pay for the wall." (Mexico's president disagrees.) Some other main points of the speech, in which he promised to "break the cycle of illegal immigration and amnesty," via AP, Politico, and the New York Times:
- He said those currently here illegally have just one path to citizenship or legal status: "To return home and apply for reentry like anybody else."
- "We are going to end catch and release," he said, vowing that anyone caught illegally crossing the border will be detained and then returned home.
- "Zero tolerance" for immigrants who commit crimes. He promised that his administration would round up criminal offenders and begin shipping them home on day one. “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.”
- He promised to triple the number of ICE deportation officers and to create a deportation task force with a focus on those "criminal aliens." He also vowed to hire 5,000 border control agents and to expand the number of border stations.
- He said he would immediately cancel "unconstitutional executive orders" issued by President Obama that amount to "illegal amnesty."
- He would suspend visas for any countries that can't provide adequate screening.
- He would demand that other countries take back any citizens deported by the US.
- He would block federal funding for "sanctuary cities," singling out San Francisco at one point for what he sees as lax enforcement.
- He said the US will put in place biometric systems to better track immigrants.
- He said the US will intensify its "e-verify" program, designed to ensure that immigrants are eligible to work.
- So who can come to the US? "It’s our right as a sovereign nation to choose immigrants who are the likeliest to thrive, and flourish and love us."
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