Real estate mogul and 2016 GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump said the Mexican government forces many criminals back into the United States, that there are “thousands” of instances “where illegal immigrants that come through our porous border are killing our citizens,” and that illegal immigration “wasn’t even a subject” until he brought it up.
“Illegal immigration, I’m totally opposed to it, you see what happened in San Francisco with that beautiful young woman who was shot standing with her father by a man that shouldn’t have been here, and we threw him out five times, and Mexico sends him back in. In my opinion, the Mexican government forced him back in — they force many criminals back into our country, and that’s what I’ve been talking about, and frankly, people have given me great credit for talking about it,” he said in a phone interview Tuesday on Fox News’ “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren.”
Mr. Trump was referring to the case of Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, who has been charged with murder in the death of Kathryn Steinle, 32, in California and who had been deported five times but was freed in March.
“I’m the one that brought up illegal immigration — this wasn’t even a subject, and I brought it up,” he said. “And I brought it up before the young lady was killed. And then that became a big story. But you have thousands of instances where illegal immigrants that come through our porous border are killing our citizens, and lots of other problems they’re bringing with them.”
“I mean, the jails are loaded up, the hospitals are loaded up with people, and it’s a horrible situation — nobody ever brought it up,” he said. “And then I watch some of the political pundits and they hate when I bring this up, and I sort of say … you know, aren’t we all on the same side?”
NASCAR and ESPN are the latest companies to distance themselves from Mr. Trump, who said in his presidential announcement speech last month that when Mexico “sends its people, they’re not sending their best,” but rather, people who have “lots of problems.”
“They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people,” he said last month.
NASCAR recently announced it will not hold a banquet at Trump National Doral Miami, and ESPN said it was moving a celebrity golf tournament from one of Mr. Trump’s courses in Los Angeles. The PGA of America has also said it is moving its Grand Slam of Golf from Trump National Golf Club in Los Angeles in October, joining Macy’s, NBC and Univision in distancing itself from Mr. Trump.
Mr. Trump said NASCAR was renting a ballroom at Trump National Doral for an evening and they lost a big deposit, “so now I’ll rent it to somebody else, maybe somebody getting married, which would be nice. So I get two for the price of one.”
He said that with ESPN, the network “left a big, fat, beautiful deposit on the table and they have to go to a course that’s not even nearly, nearly as good — that’s one of the best courses in the world.”
“So you know, it’s unbelievable — you hear ‘NASCAR and ESPN leaving Trump’ — one was a banquet and the other one was a simple golf outing,” he said. “And by the way, now other people will play golf, so I’ll get two fees instead of one. I mean, the whole thing is crazy.”
“I brought a subject to light. But because I’m against illegal immigration, these people bailed because they want to be politically correct,” Mr. Trump said. “Yeah, I think they’ll be back.”