— CNN (@CNN) September 1, 2016
On Wednesday, Donald Trump paid a surprise visit to Mexico and met with Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto. Trump told the media that the two discussed the fabled Wall but never discussed who would pony up the costs. Then Nieto was all … nope. He issued a correction and said he definitely told Trump that Mexico would not pay for it. By that time, Trump was likely on his private jet again and heading to his Arizona rally where he was projected to give a yuuuge immigration speech.
The issue has been one of Trump’s main selling points. For over a year, he proposed a mass deportation but has since hedged and decided he might be nice and work with the “good ones.” Yet the real estate mogul described Mexicans as drug dealers and rapists for the entirety of his campaign, so it’s hard to buy his change of heart. Going into this speech, there was also the question of whether he’d address Nieto’s correction or just let it slide.
Tonight, Trump didn’t directly address Nieto’s figurative “nope,” and there was no “softening,” but he listed ten major points. The first one? “We will build a Great Wall along the Southern border.” He followed up with “and Mexico will pay for the wall, 100%.” Oh really? “They don’t know it yet, but they’re gonna pay for it.” Trump then described his wall as “beautiful, impenetrable,” and flanked by surveillance towers. And that was only the beginning of this long-winded opus, which was more like a scripted rant than a policy speech.
If Trump hadn’t listed numbers for his Ten-Point Immigration Policy, the speech would have blended into a homogeneous, shout-y mess like most of his other speeches. Beyond the wall, Trump called Clinton and Obama the masters of amnesty and “weak and foolish” immigration policies. Meanwhile, Trump put on his blue-collar hat and argued that the existing U.S. immigration system only serves the needs of wealthy donors and politicians instead of the public. He railed at how the media doesn’t report his version of reality and allows illegal immigrants to be “treated better than our vets.” He believes Clinton will break the federal budget and destroy jobs while snatching work away from “Hispanic and African-American workers.” And he can’t bear to admit more refugees from Syria and “that region.”
Other highlights included Trump vowing “to end catch and release” and dispense with two million “criminal aliens.” He didn’t really clarify whether a mass deportation of “good” immigrants would happen, but Trump is still so serious that he’s going to enlist the help of local and state police for the “bad” ones: “Day one, my first hour in office, those people are gone. And you can call it deported if you want. The press doesn’t like that term. You can call it whatever you want. They’re gone.” He then called Hillary Clinton a criminal and added, “Maybe they’ll be able to deport her.” And sure enough, the #DeportHillary hashtag began to trend. He lambasted her for preparing to create a constitutional crisis with her “bad judgment” on immigration.
Trump spoke of “extreme vetting,” although he believes a better way to deal with Syrian refugees is to build safe zones. He wants to order all countries to take back dangerous immigrants when they’re ordered to be deported, and he wants a “complete biometric entry-exit Visa tracking system.” All of this revolves around immigrants who are dangerous and steal jobs because “America first.” He also repeated his new campaign motto: “What do you have to lose? Watch how good we’re gonna do together.” And he vowed, “I will get this done for you and your family.” He slammed Clinton for lacking strength and stamina and warned that “all energy must be focused on immigration security.” Trump believes this will be the last chance to secure the border.
Essentially, this rally was like any other dramatic Trump rally, only with added emphasis and numbers in between mini-rants. He also hosted the Angel Moms onstage (to discuss their lost children), which was an emotional portion of the event. You can watch Trump’s full immigration speech below.