Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump used a Saturday trip to Houston to address families of victims of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants — and blast Democratic rival Hillary Clinton as unsympathetic to their concerns.

“When Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State, the matter of this country refusing to take back their deported citizens came before Hillary Clinton’s desk,” Trump said. “But she failed to take forceful action and ignored the federal law requiring her to suspend visas to countries that don’t take back their citizens.”

The Remembrance Project, a nonprofit in Houston that advocates for victims of undocumented immigrant crime, hosted a luncheon for Trump to address growing concerns on the immigration debate. During his remarks, Trump called for the termination of “sanctuary city” designations closure of the border to stop criminal undocumented immigrants from entering the United States.

“Whether it’s drugs, terrorism or violent crime, our government is utterly failing in its core mission to defend and protect the people of this country,” Trump said. “The Border Patrol [union], who endorsed me, warned that Hillary Clinton’s plan would put the entire country in grave danger — they called it radical, deeply dangerous, and warned it would trigger an unprecedented national crisis.”

Trump mentioned the Boston Globe’s report that said nearly 13,000 criminal immigrants were released back to the streets because their home countries would not take them back and said Clinton’s immigration plan would give Obamacare, Social Security and Medicaid to undocumented immigrants, ignore visa overstays, enable sanctuary cities and close detention centers.

While Trump has previously held public events in Texas — an unusual decision for a presidential nominee in a solidly red state — his remarks to the Remembrance Project were billed as “closed to the press.” Ultimately, some reporters were apparently allowed in, and the event was livestreamed.

Trump was in Houston was to raise money for his campaign. He was scheduled to attend a fundraiser in the morning before his speech to the Remembrance Project.

This article was published in The Texas Tribune Sept. 17, 2016. 

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