Friday, 20 July, 2018

Trump retreats from vow to deport all living in US illegally

Melinda Barton | 01 September, 2016, 14:11

"There will be no legal status or becoming a citizen of the United States by illegally entering our country", Trump declared, even has he sidestepped the dilemma about what to do with those who might stay in the country anyway - failing to address the major question that has frustrated past congressional attempts at remaking the nation's immigration laws.

Instead, Trump's speech focused mostly on laying out new policies created to amp up border enforcement by increasing the number of agents working for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), cracking down on people who overstay their visas, and reviving some old (and mostly failed) policies created to deport people who have committed crimes.

But during a joint press conference, Trump told reporters they had discussed the wall but not how it would be funded. He promised sensors to detect immigrants and tunnels, hiring 5,000 more border patrol agents and building a wall he says Mexico will pay for.

Big day for Trump The speech capped a hectic day for the Republican Party's nominee.

Instead, Trump repeated the standard Republican talking point that only after securing the border can such a discussion begin to take place.

Mr Trump tweeted that he was "very much" looking forward to meeting the Mexican President.

Mexicans responded angrily to what they saw as a weak performance by President Enrique Pena Nieto, who appeared to let Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump emerge unscathed from a meeting Wednesday.

But there was no direct mention of a core promise of his primary campaign - to create a "deportation force" that would remove all of the estimated 11 million immigrants living in the country illegally.

Trump's visit to Mexico City took place hours before he was due to deliver a highly anticipated speech in the US border state of Arizona on how he will tackle illegal immigration if he wins the election. Feeding off the energy of a wholly supportive crowd, he said any person in the country illegally who is arrested for "any crime whatsoever" will be immediately placed into deportation proceedings. "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", he said.

Arturo Gonzalez said: "I'm here because I hear what Donald Trump says about Mexicans".

Televisa news anchor Carlos Loret de Mola marveled that Trump would dare come to Mexico and reiterate his intention to build the wall.

In an interview with CNN in July, the Mexican President said there was "no way" that Mexico would pay for any such wall. "From there, the conversation addressed other subjects and developed in a respectful manner".

Critics accuse Trump of fueling xenophobia and white nationalist rhetoric.

Trump raged against what he called President Barack Obama and Clinton's "open borders" policy, accusing the Democrats of caring more about immigrants living in the US illegally than American citizens.

In his speech, the billionaire repeatedly called attention to the crimes of some undocumented immigrants and drew on stories of Americans killed by undocumented immigrants, bringing parents of some of those victims on stage to share their graphic and heart-wrenching tales of loss. "It is deeply unpopular with voters, and profoundly un-American".

Mr Trump was cheered in Arizona, but his appearance in Mexico sparked anger and protests. He piled on in the months to come, attacked the country over free trade, illegal immigration and border security.

Former Mexican President Vicente Fox bluntly told the celebrity businessman that, despite Pena Nieto's hospitality, he was not welcome.

"We don't like him".

Campaigning in Ohio, Democrat Hillary Clinton jabbed at Trump's Mexican appearance as she promoted her own experience working with foreign leaders as the nation's chief diplomat.

"It certainly takes more than trying to make up for more than a year of insults and insinuations by dropping in on our neighbours for a few hours and then flying home again", she told a convention of the American Legion military veterans' group in Cincinnati.