During a Wednesday morning speech at the Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCCA) winter conference in Washington, D.C., President Trump called on law enforcement officials to report suspected gang members who are not U.S. citizens to the Department of Homeland Security, echoing his January 25 executive order against sanctuary cities.
“And we’re going to take that fight to the drug cartels and work to liberate our communities from their terrible grip of violence,” Trump said. “You have the power and knowledge to tell General Kelly —now Secretary Kelly— who the illegal immigrant gang members are. Now, you have that power because you know them, you’re there, you’re local. You know the illegals, you know them by their first name, you know them by their nicknames. You have that power The federal government can never be that precise But you’re in the neighborhoods You know the bad ones, you know the good ones.”
“I want you to turn in the bad ones,” Trump continued. “Call Secretary Kelly’s representatives and we’ll get them out of our country and bring them back where they came from, and we’ll do it fast. You have to call up the federal government, Homeland Security, because so much of the problems—you look at Chicago and you look at other places. So many of the problems are caused by gang members, many of whom are not even legally in our country.”
Earlier in the speech, which also contained remarks about the court fight surrounding Trump’s travel ban order, the president also said that his calls to build a border wall will “stop the drugs from pouring into our country.”
“It’s time to stop the drugs from pouring into our country,” Trump said. “And, by the way, we will do that. And I will say this: General, now Secretary, Kelly will be the man to do it, and we will give him a wall. And it will be a real wall. And a lot of things will happen very positively for your cities, your states, believe me.”
“The wall is getting designed right now.” Trump added. “A lot of people say, oh, oh, Trump was only kidding with the wall. I wasn’t kidding. I don’t kid. I don’t kid. I watch this, and they say I was kidding. No, I don’t kid. I don’t kid about things like that, I can tell you. No, we will have a wall. It will be a great wall, and it will do a lot of—will be a big help. Just ask Israel about walls. Do walls work? Just ask Israel. They work, if it’s properly done. It’s time to dismantle the gangs terrorizing our citizens, and it’s time to ensure that every young American can be raised in an environment of decency, dignity, love and support.”
A recent article from The New York Times reported that “the Department of Homeland Security has estimated that 1.9 million noncitizens living in the United States —whether legally or illegally— have been convicted of criminal offenses and could be deported. The Migration Policy Institute, a research group that does not advocate immigration policies, estimated that 820,000 of those people were in the country illegally, including 300,000 with felony convictions.”