Donald Trump met privately in Beverly Hills on Friday with families of people who were killed by assailants in the country illegally and repeated his condemnation of U.S. immigration policies, insisting that other countries send criminals to the United States, which gladly accepts them.
“So you have the illegals come in and the illegals kill their children, and we better get smart in the United States,” the Republican presidential candidate said. “So we’re housing people from all over the world that other countries don’t want. They’re sending criminals to us and we’re putting those criminals in jail, often-times after they’ve killed somebody or hurt somebody.
“And whether it’s Mexico or other countries, they look at it very differently and very intelligently,” he said. “Why should we pay for somebody in jail for 25, 30 or 40 years when the United States, with very, very stupid leaders and representatives, will take care of the situation?”
Trump said the parents he met with told him that “whenever somebody hears that it was an illegal that was involved with the death of their children, it becomes politically incorrect for a politician to help them. That’s how messed up our nation is.”
Trump has been under fire since announcing his bid for the White House, when he said, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with (them). They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
Univision responded by cutting business ties with Trump, and NBC and Macy’s later followed suit. The PGA announced this week it was moving its Grand Slam of Golf event from the Trump National Golf Club in Rancho Palos Verdes.
Trump said today he has brought the issue of immigration to the forefront of political discussion, but he stressed that “everybody knows that I have great relationships with Mexican people.”
“I have many, many people who work for me who are Mexican,” he said. “They’re phenomenal people. I love them. They’re enormously talented.
“… I have great respect for the country of Mexico,” he said. “The problem is the country of Mexico has leaders that are far smarter than our leaders, far more cunning than our leaders. Their negotiators are much better than our negotiators. And they’re sending people to our country that we don’t want but we take, and they don’t want. And you know who they’re sending.”
Among the parents Trump met with in Beverly Hills was Jamiel Shaw, whose high school football standout son — Jamiel Shaw II — was killed by a gang member in the country without legal permission.
“We must protect American citizens,” Shaw told reporters. “How are you gonna allow American citizens to die in the streets and turn a blind eye because you (want to put) your agenda across?”
Jamiel Shaw II was a Los Angeles High School football standout who was shot and killed in 2008 near his Arlington Heights home by a gang member who prosecutors said mistakenly perceived him as a gang rival because he was carrying a red Spider-Man backpack.
Pedro Espinoza, convicted of first-degree murder in 2012 and sentenced to death, was living in the United States without legal permission at the time of the killing. He had been freed from jail two days before the shooting without immigration authorities placing a hold on him.
Trump said Shaw was “shot from nowhere by an illegal who shouldn’t have been in the country, and nobody wants to talk about it. … The system is really screwed up.”
Trump spoke tonight to a group of Hollywood conservatives at the Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel in Brentwood. The speech was closed to reporters.
The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles Action Fund organized a rally outside the hotel, and activists began gathering around 4 p.m. Dozens of protesters chanted, while a smaller group voiced their support of Trump.
Trump scoffed at the planned rally.
“I heard there were going to be big protests outside,” he said. “… There’s hardly anybody.”