Donald Trump tried to move past a week of vacillating on immigration, his signature issue, by asserting in a speech Wednesday that the question of what to do with 11 million people in the U.S illegally is not central to the problem.
"Anyone who tells you that the core issue is the needs of those living here illegally has simply spent too much time in Washington," Trump said to cheers from thousands of supporters here at the Phoenix Convention Center.
Trump also promised no amnesty for millions of people living in the country illegally, vowing to remove them if he becomes president and warning that failure to do so would jeopardize the "well-being of the American people."
Some of his loudest applause came when he said what he'd do his first day in office.
"Day one, my first hour in office, those people are gone," Trump said of undocumented immigrants. "And you can call it deported if you want ... you can call it whatever the hell you want, they're gone."
Trump said that President Barack Obama's and Hillary Clinton's policies are to blame for "countless American" deaths at the hands of immigrants in the country illegally. He said the main problem with the immigration system is that it serves the needs of wealthy donors, interest groups and politicians.
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