For those claiming that Donald Trump had gone soft on his immigration policy, his big speech on Wednesday night in Phoenix, Arizona, proved them wrong. In his speech, Trump claimed that he is going to build a great wall on the border between America and Mexico, and that the Mexican government would pay for it. Trump sent a clear message regarding his policy on immigration.
“You cannot obtain legal status or become a citizen of the United States by illegally entering our country.”
Trump delivered his much-awaited speech on his immigration policy on Wednesday in Phoenix, less than 24 hours after his first diplomatic visit to Mexico City earlier in the day. And while Trump seemed a bit quieter and “diplomatic” in Mexico City, he rejected implications claiming that he was going soft on the very idea that had sky-rocketed his campaign, reassuring his potential voters and the American people that there would be “no amnesty” for undocumented immigrants living in the United States and that he would in fact build the great wall that he has promised to build since the beginning of his presidential campaign. Trump even went on to claim that the Mexican government would pay for this “beautiful” and “impenetrable” wall, when just hours earlier the country’s president, Enrique Peña Nieto, had made it clear that they wouldn’t.
During the event, Trump did not explicitly discuss the 11 million undocumented immigrants without criminal backgrounds, and did not back his earlier vows that he would deport all of them. He did however claim that under his presidency, there would be no path to legal status for the undocumented immigrants living illegally in the United States.
“For those here today illegally who are seeking legal status, they will have one route and only one route: to return home and apply for re-entry under the rules of the new legal immigration system.”
Trump did however vow to create a “deportation task force” which would be tasked to identify illegal immigrants with criminal backgrounds and deport them to their country of original. He also backed his earlier promise to revoke President Obama’s executive orders that protects some of the undocumented immigrants, whom Obama calls “Dreamers”, from deportation.
Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, on Wednesday night dismissed Trump’s visit to Mexico, claiming that the Republican Nominee had just “failed his first foreign test”, and that he was utterly lacking in diplomacy. Clinton pointed out the inconsistency between Trump’s claim that the Mexican government would pay for the wall and the Mexican president’s clear statement that it would not. President Enrique Peña Nieto revealed that while the two had discussed the prospect of building a wall between their borders, he had made it clear at the beginning of their conversation that the Mexican government would not be paying for it. He later made this public via a tweet.
Trump just failed his first foreign test. Diplomacy isn’t as easy as it looks. -H
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) September 1, 2016
Al inicio de la conversación con Donald Trump dejé claro que México no pagará por el muro.
— Enrique Peña Nieto (@EPN) August 31, 2016
His tweet translates to :
“At the beginning of the conversation with Donald Trump I made it clear that Mexico will not pay for the wall.”
Trump’s visit to Mexico wasn’t particularly well received by the people of Mexico either. There were several protests against his visit in Mexico City.
During the event in Phoenix, Trump also took the opportunity to pitch to African-American voters, asking them to trust in him and telling them that they had nothing to lose by voting for him in November. In doing so, he took jabs at the Democratic nominee, claiming that in the 35 years she has held a public office, she had done virtually nothing for the African-American community, and that she would continue to do nothing for them should they vote for her in November.
[Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images]