(CNSNews.com) - Calling immigration "one of the greatest challenges facing our country today," Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump explained exactly what he'd do about it in a major policy address Wednesday night.
"The truth is, our immigration system is worse than anyone realizes. But the facts aren’t known because the media won’t report on them, the politicians won’t talk about them, and the special interests spend a lot of money trying to cover them up. Today you will get the truth," Trump promised.
Trump said the fundamental problem with the current U.S. immigration system is that it serves the needs of wealthy donors, political activists and politicians, but it doesn't make life better for American citizens." He said the needs of the 11 million illegal immigrants are nowhere neear as important as the well-being of the American people.
"We have to listen to the concerns that working people have over the record pace of immigration and its impact on their jobs, wages, housing, schools, tax bills, and living conditions. These are valid concerns, expressed by decent and patriotic citizens from all backgrounds.
"We also have to be honest about the fact that not everyone who seeks to join our country will be able to successfully assimilate. It is our right as a sovereign nation to choose immigrants that we think are the likeliest to thrive and flourish here."
Trump said while many of the illegal immigrants living in the U.S. "are good people," they also tend to be lower-skilled and less educated, competing with "vulnerable Ameican workers" for jobs.
For starters, he called for a "new relationship" between Mexico and the United States and a change of leadership in Washington.
Then he gave his 10-point plan:
1. We will build a wall along the Southern Border.
2. End catch-and-release (detained border-crossers until they are removed).
3. Zero tolerance for criminal aliens. (Pass Kate's Law, triple the number of ICE deportation officers, hire 5,000 more Border Patrol agents).
4. Block funding for sanctuary cities.
5. Cancel unconstitutional executive orders and enforce all immigration laws; (No one will be exempt from enforcement, he said).
6. Suspend the issuance of visas to any place where adequate screening cannot occur
7. Ensure that other countries take their people back when we order them deported
8. Complete the biometric entry-exit visa tracking system.
9. Turn off the jobs and benefits magnet. (Use E-Verify to fullest extent possible.)
10. Reform legal immigration to serve the best interests of America and its workers. (Ensure assimilation, integration and upward mobility.)
"These ten steps, if rigorously followed and enforced, will accomplish more in a matter of months than our politicians have accomplished on this issue in the last fifty years," Trump said.
"We want people to come into our country, but they have to come in legally and properly-vetted, and in a manner that serves the national interest."