Donald Trump has won over Republican voters with a pair of speeches to the party faithful, attacking the government of Mexico and outlining a plan to charge them $100,000 for every illegal immigrant who crosses the southern border.
The Republican presidential front-runner got round after round of applause at successive events in Las Vegas, Nevada and Phoenix, Arizona, at which he rounded on the Mexican government for allegedly ‘pushing’ undocumented immigrants to the U.S. to avoid dealing with them themselves.
Trump said that Mexico had been allowed to get away with the scheme because they are ‘smart’ and President Obama and his administration are ‘stupid’ – a situation which can only be fixed if he leads the charge to ‘take back our country’.
At the second address in Phoenix, Trump unveiled his plan, under which he would hold the government responsible for those who crossed the border, and charge them a fee for each person.
He said: ‘Every time Mexico – really intelligently – sends people over we charge Mexico $100,000 for every person they send over.
‘Now they make so much money that that’s peanuts. I could’ve made it much higher – but I’m nice. I’m in a good mood today’.
If Trump could enact the scheme, his proposed bill could spiral into the billions. According to the Pew Research Center, there are some 5.9million undocumented Mexicans in the country already, though it is difficult to judge the rate at which they are coming and going.
Although he had harsh words for undocumented entrants into the United States, Trump defended the rights of legal immigrants – and pointed out that he is married to one of them.