When Trump first announced his 2016 candidacy, he made harsh comments about illegal immigrants for which he has been widely criticized.
DONALD TRUMP: “The US has become a dumping ground for everybody else's problems.
ENTHUSIASTIC AUDIENCE MEMBER: “YEAH!”
TRUMP: “Thank you. It's true. And these aren't the best and the finest. When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're not sending you. They're not sending you. They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us [sic]. 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. 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, cause we have no protection, and we have no competence. We don't know what's happening. And it's gotta stop. And it's gotta stop fast.”
Trump has answered the criticism and held fast on his immigration positions. He insists that all immigrants entering the country be legal, warning of the dangers of illegals. He also targets so-called “sanctuary cities”, calling them “crap” that must be ended.
DONALD TRUMP: “You can't be upset with China, or Japan, or Mexico. Can't be upset with anyone. You know, when I announced for the presidency, it was very interesting what happened. I made a beautiful speech. I thought it was wonderful. Everything was fine. About a week and a half later, they attacked me. In other words, they went their – and then they lied. They made it up. And they talked about, I was talking about illegal immigration. And I brought up a subject called 'illegal immigration'. And I just saw backstage some of the families who were decimated, their families were decimated, their sons, their daughters killed by illegal immigrants. And it's a massive problem. We have to stop illegal immigration. We have to do it. We have to do it.
And I want people to come into the country, but I want 'em to be legal. I want 'em to go through the process. I want them to come in. I want to have a big beautiful door. But they have to be legal. They have to be. And if they're not going to be, they can't come in. And, I'll tell you what. The first thing we do – you know, people don't realize. You look at crime in Chicago, you look at crime in so many different places, and you see gangs. Many of these gang members are illegal immigrants. They're rough dudes. They will be outta here so frickin' fast. And I think a lot of these countries send them in here because they don't want 'em. What do they want 'em in prison for 40 years, they – look, look. Whether it's – any country, their leaders are smarter than our leaders. They're more cunning. They're tougher. They're better. And we take 'em. Kate in San Francisco, this magnificent young woman, shot in the back by a guy that was sent over here, probably pushed over, who knows? But it was an illegal immigrant, came over, went to San Francisco. We have to end this sanctuary cities crap fast. Fast.
So he admits he's guilty, now he's got a lawyer. Oh, he didn't really know, he wasn't aiming there, it was a ricochet, bah bah bah. It's disgusting what's happening to our country. We are a dumping ground for the rest of the world. We are. A dumping ground.”
Clinton supports a path to citizenship and deportation protection for illegal immigrants. She criticizes Republicans for advocating “legal status”, which she reads as code for “second-class status”.
HILLARY CLINTON: “We claim that we are for families. We have to pull together and resolve the outstanding issues around our broken immigration system. The American people support comprehensive immigration reform, not just because it's the right thing to do (and it is), but because they know it strengthens families, strengthens our economy, and strengthens our country. That's why we can't wait any longer, we can't wait any longer for a path to full and equal citizenship. Now this is where I differ with everybody on the Republican side. Make no mistakes, today not a single Republican candidate, announced or potential, is clearly and consistently supporting a path to citizenship. Not one. When they talk about legal status, that is code for second-class status. So I will fight for comprehensive immigration reform, and a path to citizenship for you and for your families across our country. I will fight to stop partisan attacks on the executive actions that would put Dreamers, including those with us today, at risk of deportation. And if Congress continues to refuse to act, as President I would do everything possible under the law to go even further.”