(CNSNews.com) - "There will be no amnesty," Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump told a gathering in Phoenix on Wednesday night as he delivered a major policy address on immigration.
"For those here today illegally who are seeking legal status, they will have one route and only one route: to return home and apply for re-entry under the rules of the new legal immigration system that I have outlined...Those who have left to seek entry under this new system will not be awarded surplus visas, but will have to enter under the immigration caps or limits that will be established."
Trump said his message to the world is, "you cannot obtain legal status, or become a citizen of the United States, by illegally entering our country.
"This declaration alone will help stop the crisis of illegal crossings and illegal overstays. People will know that you can’t just smuggle in, hunker down, and wait to be legalized. It's not going to work that way. Those days are over."
Trump said the "appropriate disposition" of illegal immigrants already in the country will have to wait a while.
"In several years, when we have accomplished all of our enforcement goals -- and truly ended illegal immigration for good, including the construction of a great wall, and the establishment of our new lawful immigration system -- then and only then will we be in a position to consider the appropriate disposition of those who remain.
"That discussion can only take place in an atmosphere in which illegal immigration is a memory of the past, allowing us to weigh the different options available based on the new circumstances at the time.
"Right now, however, we are in the middle of a jobs crisis, a border crisis, and a terrorism crisis. All energies of the federal government and the legislative process must now be focused on immigration security. That is the only conversation we should be having at this time.
"Whether it’s dangerous materials being smuggled across the border, terrorists entering on visas, or Americans losing their jobs to foreign workers, these are the problems we must now focus on fixing."
Trump said he would add 5,000 more Border Patrol agents and triple the number of ICE deportation officers. "Within ICE, I am going to create a new special Deportation Task Force, focused on identifying and removing quickly the most dangerous criminal illegal immigrants in America who have evaded justice."
He also promised to enforce "all immigration laws." "Anyone who has entered the United States illegally is subject to deportation – that is what it means to have laws and to have a country," he said.
Trump further said his enforcement priorities will include "criminals, gang members, security threats, visa overstays, public charges – that is, those relying on public welfare or straining the safety net, along with millions of recent illegal arrivals and overstays who’ve come here under the current Administration."
Trump described his opponent as a "radical amnesty" proponent who will allow the entry of "millions more illegal immigrants, thousands more violent crimes, and total chaos and lawlessness."
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