Donald Trump: Mexico will pay for wall, '100%'

US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has insisted Mexico will pay for a border wall "100%", in a major immigration speech.

US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has insisted Mexico will pay for a border wall "100%", in a major immigration speech.

He told a cheering crowd in Arizona that he would secure the border, and left open the possibility that millions of illegal immigrants be deported.

Hours earlier, he met Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto but said they had not discussed financing the wall.
The president later insisted he had told Mr Trump Mexico would not pay.

There had been speculation that the Republican candidate would back off his plan to deport the estimated 11m undocumented immigrants living in the US.

In his speech in Phoenix, there were conflicting signals about this. He said their fate was not a "core issue" and that deporting "criminal aliens" would be the priority.

"We will treat everyone living or residing in our country with great dignity," he said.

But later he struck a more uncompromising note when he added: "Anyone who has entered the United States illegally is subject to deportation. That is what it means to have laws."

In a fiery speech that was at odds with his softer tone in Mexico City, he said he would:

* Create a "special deportation force" focused on removing immigrants arrested (not convicted) for crimes

* Cut off any path to citizenship and insisted those seeking legal status must return to their own countries first

* Introduce "extreme vetting" of immigrants to make sure they adhered to American values

* Protect the interests of African American and Hispanic workers by restricting legal immigration numbers

* Get tough on people who overstay their visas, making them subject to deportation

Mr Trump said it was the right of the US to choose immigrants that "we think are the likeliest to thrive and flourish and love us".

Elaborating on that idea, he said his "extreme vetting" would involve an ideological test for immigrants applying to live in the US.

"Applicants will be asked for their views about honour killings, about respect for women and gays and minorities, attitudes on radical Islam," he said.

Mr Trump, a New York hotel developer, stormed to an unlikely victory in the Republican primaries partly due to his tough talking on immigration.

And in Phoenix he vowed to protect the interests of Americans who he said lose out to new arrivals.

"We have to listen to the concerns that working people, our forgotten working people, have over the record pace of immigration and its impact on their jobs, wages, housing, schools, tax bills and general living conditions," he said.

He accused his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton of wanting to grant amnesty to undocumented immigrants and of advocating "open border" policies.

Reacting to Mr Trump's visit to Mexico, she said he had "choked" by not asking his hosts to pay for his wall.


BBC News |

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