Donald Trump used the term 'hombres' when talking about immigration.
(Photo: Mark Ralston, AP)
The last thing anybody tuning in for the final presidential debate expected to hear Wednesday was Republican Donald Trump breaking out his Spanish skills.
But he did. Answering a question about how he would handle border security, Trump said his first priority in the White House would be to get "drug lords" and other dangerous undocumented immigrants out of the country.
We have some bad hombres here and we’re going to get them out," he said, using the Spanish term for "men.
Immigration has been largely ignored through the first two presidential debates, despite Trump kicking off his campaign calling Mexicans entering the country "rapists" and drug dealers. He has further alienated Hispanic voters by vowing to build a massive wall along the southern border and questioning the qualifications of a U.S. federal judge because he was "Mexican" — the judge he referred to was born in the U.S.
Yet the issue took a backseat during previous debates. And on Wednesday, moderator Chris Wallace quickly moved on from the topic after Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton started talking about Russia's involvement in the election.
In the few minutes the two dug into the controversial topic, Trump maintained his promise to deport undocumented immigrants from the country.
Clinton said she also supported border security, even explaining her vote as a senator from New York for a bill that included funding to expand the southern border wall. But she decried Trump's push for mass deportation, saying that would require federal agents to go "school to school, home to home, business to business" to round up the nation's 11 million undocumented immigrants and ship them home.
I think it’s an idea that would rip our country apart," she said
Wallace asked Clinton about a speech she delivered in Brazil, where she said she dreamed of "open trade and open borders" with Latin America. But Clinton said the quote was taken out of context and was focused only on energy policy. And then she complained that the quote was hacked by Russian hackers who handed over the emails to WikiLeaks.
That was a great pivot off the fact that she wants open borders," Trump said. "She wants open borders. People are going to pour into our country.
The two candidates also sparred over the fate of Syrian refugees, who are fleeing their country's civil war and, in some cases, being resettled in the United States.
Trump has said throughout his campaign that the U.S. government cannot properly vet those refugees and on Thursday said many of them were "definitely ISIS-aligned."
We now have them in our country. This is going to be the great Trojan Horse," he said. "Wait until you see what happens in the coming years. Lots of luck Hillary.
Clinton countered that the roughly 10,000 Syrian refugees now entering the U.S. each year are sufficiently screened for security concerns. She said it was imperative for the country to maintain an open door for those who are running for their lives.
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I am not going to let anyone into this country who is not vetted," she said. "But I am not going to slam the door on women and children.