Donald Trump has launched a scathing attack on illegal immigrant gang members and suggested they are “animals” who “slice and dice” young girls.
Speaking at a campaign-style “make America great again” rally in Youngstown in Ohio, the US President likened the country to a nation going through a war which needed to be freed from illegal migrants.
The billionaire property developer, who has seen the number of immigrants with no criminal records arrested more than double under his presidency, claimed illegal immigrant gang members are not using guns because they are not painful enough.
“One by one, we are finding the illegal gang members, drug dealers, thieves, robbers, criminals, and killers. And we are sending them the hell back home where they came from,” President Trump told the crowd prompting applause.
“And once they are gone, we will never let them back in, believe me. The predators and criminal aliens who poison our communities with drugs and prey on innocent young people - these beautiful, beautiful, innocent young people - will find no safe haven anywhere in our country.”
He added: “And you’ve seen the stories about some of these animals. They don’t want to use guns because it’s too fast and it’s not painful enough. So they’ll take a young, beautiful girl, 16, 15, and others, and they slice them and dice them with a knife because they want them to go through excruciating pain before they die.”
President Trump, who mentioned no specific examples of where or when instances such as these had taken place, then branded them “animals” for the second time, saying America had been protecting them for too long.
He added: "Well, they're not being protected any longer, folks. And that is why my administration is launching a nationwide crackdown on sanctuary cities”.
Mr Trump, who became famed for making inflammatory, xenophobic remarks during his presidential campaign, claimed US citizens were increasingly grateful for border patrol.
He said: “People are screaming from their windows, thank you, thank you to the border patrol and to General Kelly's great people that come in and grab these thugs and throw them the hell out.”
“We’re liberating our towns, and we’re liberating our cities. Can you believe we have to do that?” he asked.
The President claimed this was not being done “in a politically correct fashion” and they were instead “doing it rough.”
Despite the fact his predecessor Barack Obama was often branded “deporter-in-chief” by migrant rights activists, Mr Trump vociferously pledged to take a more stringent stance on illegal immigration during his election campaign.
Since arriving in the White House, he has pushed immigration enforcement further up the political agenda and arrests of immigrants residing in the US have increased. Nevertheless, deportations have marginally decreased as fewer people have been caught illegally crossing the Mexican border into the US.
Mr Trump also used the one-hour speech in the blue-collar rust belt city, which is a former centre of steel production, to express his happiness at being back in America’s “heartland” and away from the “Washington swamp”.
He also spent the address showing off about his presidential prowess and launching into an attack on “fake news”.
"It is much easier to act presidential than what we are doing here tonight, believe me. With the exception of the late, great Abraham Lincoln, I can be more presidential than any president that's ever held this office,” he said.
"I think that with few exceptions, no president has done anywhere near what we've done in his first six months. Not even close”.
The address was briefly interrupted by protesters on a couple of occasions – with President Trump jeering at demonstrator by saying “he’s going back home to mommy.”
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