Donald Trump on Immigration
2000 Reform Primary Challenger for President
TRUMP: Because nobody knows the system better than me. I know the H-1B. I know the H-2B. Nobody knows it better than me. I'm a businessman. These are laws. These are rules. We're allowed to do it. So I will take advantage of it; they're the laws. But I'm the one that knows how to change it.
Q: So what would you do with H-1B visas?
TRUMP: It's something that I frankly use and I shouldn't be allowed to use it. We shouldn't have it. Very, very bad for workers. And second of all, I think it's very important to say, well, I'm a businessman and I have to do what I have to do. When it's sitting there waiting for you, but it's very bad. It's very bad for our workers and it's unfair for our workers. And we should end it.
TRUMP: We have at least 11 million people that came in illegally. They will go out. Some will come back, the best, through a process. They have to come back legally. It may not be a quick process, but I think that's fair. They're going to get in line with other people.
TRUMP: No. (APPLAUSE) Look, we have to stop with political correctness. We have to get down to creating a country that's not going to have the kind of problems that we've had with people flying planes into the World Trade Centers, with the shootings in California, with all the problems all over the world. We have to find out what's going on [with Muslim immigrants]. I said temporarily. I didn't say permanently. And I have many great Muslim friends. And some of them, I will say, not all, have called me and said, "Donald, thank you very much; you're exposing an unbelievable problem and we have to get to the bottom of it." We have a serious problem. And we can't be the stupid country any more. We're laughed at all over the world.
TRUMP: No, not at all. I want a database for the refugees that come into the country. We have no idea who these people are. When the Syrian refugees are going to start pouring into this country, we don't know if they're ISIS, we don't know if it's a Trojan horse.
And I definitely want a database and other checks and balances. We want to go with watchlists.
Q: Just for the record, though, the statistics do show the majority of the refugees coming in are women and children.
I understand that the vast majority of these people are honest, decent, hardworking people who came here to improve their own lives and their children's lives. Nonetheless, illegal immigration has to stop. A country that can't protect its borders isn't a country. We are the only country in the world whose immigration system places the needs of other nations ahead of our own. There is a word to describe people who do that: fools.
We also need to do what is necessary to enforce our visa regulations. People get a visa and come here legally, and when that visa expires, many stay here illegally. If they get caught, nothing happens to them. That's got to change.
TRUMP: I never said that.
Q: So this was an erroneous article the whole way around? My apologies.
Q [after commercial break]: I found where I read that before. It was from the donaldjtrump.com website and it says, "Mark Zuckerburg's personal senator, Marco Rubio has a bill to triple H-1Bs that would decimate women and minorities." Are you in favor of H-1Bs or are you opposed to them?
TRUMP: I'm in favor of people coming into this country legally. As far as the visas are concerned, if we need people they have--it's fine. They have to come into this country legally. We have a country of laws. It's fine if they come in, but they have to come in legally.
TRUMP: I would help them economically, even though we owe $19 trillion. What I won't do is take in 200,000 Syrians who could be ISIS. I have been watching this migration. They're mostly men, and they're strong men. They look like prime-time soldiers. Now, it's probably not true, but where are the women? You see some women. You see some children. But for the most part, I'm looking at these strong men. So, you ask two things. Number one, why aren't they fighting for their country? And, number two, I don't want these people coming over here. Two hundred thousand people? This could be the greatest Trojan horse. This could make the Trojan horse look like peanuts if these people turned out to be a lot of ISIS.
TRUMP: I saw the migration and it seems like so many men. There aren't that many women or childr It looked like mostly men and they looked like strong men.
Q: Half the refugees are children.
TRUMP: We don't know where they're coming from. We don't know who they are. They could be ISIS. I understand the whole thing with migration. It's a horrible thing. It should have never happened in the first place. We screwed up the Middle East so badly, with breaking up Iraq. We have so destabilized the Middle East. So I said there's no way they come in. If they do come in, if I win for president, they're going out.
Q: Even the kids?
TRUMP: Look, Europe should take some probably, because you have the Gulf States, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar--some of the richest countries and they're not taking any in.
TRUMP: The 14th Amendment says very, very clearly to a lot of great legal scholars that it is wrong. It can be corrected with an act of Congress, but probably doesn't even need that. A woman gets pregnant. She's nine months, she walks across the border, she has the baby in the United States, and we take care of the baby for 85 years? I don't think so. Mexico--and almost every other country anywhere in the world--doesn't have that. We're the only ones dumb enough, stupid enough to have it. And this is not just with respect to Mexico--people are coming from Asia to have babies here, and all of a sudden, we have to take care of the babies for the life of the baby. The 14th Amendment [should] go through the Supreme Court, but there are a lot of great legal scholars that say that is not correct.
In his January speech to the Iowa Freedom Summit, Trump called for securing the southern border and indicated that he believes half of the undocumented residents in America are criminals. In 2013 at CPAC, the businessman said Republicans should block any path to citizenship or voting status for undocumented immigrants but should expand legal immigration from Europe. In addition, Trump would give a legal status to foreign students who complete a degree at an American university.
"We need strong borders. We need a wall," Trump said, addressing his solutions to the immigration issue. "The king of building buildings, the king of building walls--none of them can build them like Donald Trump."
"You have to be very, very careful, because you could say that to a certain extent the odds aren't looking so great for Republicans, that you are on a suicide mission," he said. "You are just not going to get those votes."
One out of every three federal prison inmates is a Latino, and three quarters of these are here illegally.
When we have gifted people in this country we should cherish them and let them stay. But instead we fling our arms wide open to the lowlifes, the criminals, the people who have no intention to contribute to our country.
Wouldn't it be better if we invited foreign student graduating from our colleges to stay to build American companies, instead of foreign companies that will be wreaking havoc against Boeing, Caterpillar, and many other of our great American companies in the future?
The majority of legal immigrants can often make significant contributions to our society because they have special skills and because they add to our nation’s cultural diversity. They come with the best of intentions. But legal immigrants do not and should not enter easily. It’s a long, costly, draining, and often frustrating experience-by design. I say to legal immigrants: Welcome and good luck.
It comes down to this: we must take care of our own people first. Our policy to people born elsewhere should be clear: Enter by the law, or leave.
TRUMP: You are going to have to send people out. Look, we either have a country or we don't have a country. We are a country of laws. [Those who entered illegally are] going to have to go out and hopefully they get back. But we have no choice if we're going to run our country properly & if we're going to be a country.
KASICH: If people think that we are going to ship 11 million people who are law-abiding, who are in this country, & somehow pick them up at their house & ship them out to Mexico, think about the families. Think about the children. It's a silly argument. It is not an adult argument. It makes no sense.
TRUMP: Dwight Eisenhower, a great president, moved 1.5 million illegal immigrants out of this country, moved them just beyond the border. They came back. Moved them again beyond the border, they came back. Didn't like it. Moved them way south. They never came back. They moved 1.5 million out. We have no choice.
TRUMP: I'll tell you right now. We have a trade imbalance of $40 billion, $45 billion with Mexico a year. We give Mexico billions of dollars a year. The wall is going to cost $6 billion or $7 billion.
Q: So tariffs?
TRUMP: No, I'm not saying that. I'll get Mexico to pay for it one way or the other. I guarantee you that.
TRUMP: Right. We're going to build the wall; we're going to create a border. We're going to let people in, but they're going to come in legally. They are going to come in legally. And it's something that can be done. They built The Great Wall of China. That's 13,000 miles. Here, we actually need 1,000, because we have natural barriers. We can do a wall. We're going to have a big, fat beautiful door right in the middle of the wall. We are going to have people come in, but they are coming in legally. And Mexico is going to pay for the wall, because Mexico--I love the Mexican people, I respect the Mexican leaders, but the leaders are much sharper, smarter and more cunning than our leaders. And people say, "Oh, how are you going to get Mexico to pay?" A politician cannot get them to pay. I can.
TRUMP: I'm telling you, it's called management. You can do this and we can expedite the good immigrants to come back in. And everybody wants that. But they have to come in legally. We have to be a country of laws and borders. We have wonderful Border Patrol people, but they're not allowed to do their job. I will get the best people to build this wall and we will do it properly and we will do it humanely and get the good ones back in.
TRUMP: If it weren't for me, you wouldn't even be talking about illegal immigration. This was not a subject that was on anybody's mind until I brought it up at my announcement. The fact is, since then, many killings, murders, crime, drugs are pouring across the border, our money going out and the drugs coming in. And I said we need to build a wall, and it has to be built quickly. And I don't mind having a big beautiful door in that wall so that people can come into this country legally. But we need to build a wall, we need to keep illegals out.
TRUMP: Border Patrol people that I talk to, they say this is what's happening. Because our leaders are stupid. And the Mexican government is much smarter, much sharper, much more cunning. And they send the bad ones over because they don't want to pay for them. They don't want to take care of them. Why should they when the stupid leaders of the United States will do it for them? And that's what is happening whether you like it or not.
A: First of all--we have to stop it. We can do that with combinations of walls and Border Patrol. And it won't cost the kind of money--in fact, we will save money, because people that are coming in here that shouldn't be coming in here illegally. We have some really bad dudes right here in this country, and we're getting them out and we're sending them back to where they came from. And I don't mean Mexico; they come from all over. We have some real bad ones, and they're in our prisons that we're paying for.
Former Gov. George Pataki (R-NY) laid out what he calls are "practical" policy solutions for the issue of securing the southern U.S. border, as well as what to do with the millions of illegal immigrants already living in the country. Trump "has tapped into a chord of people who do not want to see millions of people come here illegally, but that does not justify demonizing an entire group of people," said Pataki. .
A: You have people coming through the border that are from all over. And they're bad. I'm talking about people that are from all over that are killers and rapists.
Q: How exactly are you going to get Mexico to pay for building a wall?
A: You force them because we give Mexico a fortune.
Q: So you would cut off business or impose tariffs unless they built the wall?
A: I would do something very severe unless they contributed or gave us the money to build the wall.
When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists.
And some, I assume, are good people. But I speak to border guards and they tell us what we're getting. And it only makes common sense. They're sending us not the right people.
It's coming from more than Mexico. It's coming from all over South and Latin America, and it's coming probably--probably--from the Middle East. But we don't know. Because we have no protection and we have no competence, we don't know what's happening. And it's got to stop and it's got to stop fast.
We need to be ready to build other kinds of fences, too. The point is that properly built walls work. We just need the political will to finish the job. And by the way, finishing the job will employ a lot of construction workers. Moreover, I call on Congress and the president to hire another 25,000 border patrol agents and give them the aerial equipment they need, such as Predator drones, to provide real-time aerial reconnaissance information to agents guarding the border wall.
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