Donald Trump doubled down on his controversial comments on Mexican immigration, saying this week that immigrants bring “tremendous infectious disease” across the border.
The 2016 Republican presidential candidate recently landed in hot water with comments made during his campaign launch speech about Mexican immigrants.
“When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending the best,” he said in the speech. “They're not sending you, they're sending people that have lots of problems and they're bringing those problems. They're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime. They're rapists and some, I assume, are good people, but I speak to border guards and they're telling us what we're getting."
The comments caused significant backlash and prompted many Trump affiliates to cut ties with the famed businessman.
In a statement released Monday, Trump continued his criticism of Mexican immigrants — accusing the country’s government of “forcing their most unwanted people into the United States” and referring to the U.S. as a “dumping ground for Mexico.”
“The worst elements in Mexico are being pushed into the United States by the Mexican government,” the statement read.
“The largest suppliers of heroin, cocaine and other illicit drugs are Mexican cartels that arrange to have Mexican immigrants trying to cross the borders and smuggle in the drugs," the statement continued. "The border patrol knows this. Likewise, tremendous infectious disease is pouring across the border. The United States has become a dumping ground for Mexico and, in fact, for many other parts of the world.”
Trump released the statement in response to the media reaction to his initial comments, saying that the remarks have been “deliberately distorted by the media.”
“I don’t see how there is any room for misunderstanding or misinterpretation of the statement I made on June 16th during my Presidential announcement speech,” he wrote. “What can be simpler or more accurately stated? The Mexican Government is forcing their most unwanted people into the United States. They are, in many cases, criminals, drug dealers, rapists, etc.”
While many have called his comments racist, Trump stressed in his statement that he has nothing against the people of Mexico.
“Many fabulous people come in from Mexico and our country is better for it. But these people are here legally, and are severely hurt by those coming in illegally,” he said. “I am proud to say that I know many hard working Mexicans — many of them are working for and with me … and, just like our country, my organization is better for it."
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