Photo of Donald Trump

Remarks at a "Make America Great Again" Rally in El Paso, Texas

February 11, 2019

[Music: Lee Greenwood, "God Bless the U.S.A."]

Crowd. [chanting] USA! USA! USA! USA! [cheers and applause]

The President. Thank you very much, El Paso. Thank you very much — [cheers and applause] — Thank you. I am very, very thrilled to be here in the great State of Texas — [cheers and applause] — right on the banks of the legendary Rio Grande, whereby the—well, I don't know, you heard, right? Today we started a big, beautiful wall right on the Rio Grande — [cheers and applause] — Right smack on the Rio Grande.

I love this state, and I love the people of this state. We've had a great romance together. [cheers and applause] You know, that. It's been a great romance and we're only getting stronger together. That's what's happening. Wow. Look at all the press back—you believe that? [booing] This is like the Academy Awards used to be, used to be. They've gone down a long way since they started hitting us a little bit, right?

They've gone down. That was a long—that was a long fall, but there they are. Last week I was honored to stand in the House Chamber to deliver the State of the Union. [cheers and applause] And I asked both parties to come together to choose greatness for America [cheers and applause]. Since taking office two years ago our economy is now the hottest economy anywhere on Earth. [cheers and applause]

Our military, which desperately needed funding, we went $700 billion and $716 billion, is more powerful than ever before. [cheers and applause] That was not a good situation. It was tired and depleted. Our great warriors were not taken care of. Now they're taken care of again the way they should be. [cheers and applause]

And America is winning again. [cheers and applause] Isn't that nice? We're fighting for all Americans, from all backgrounds of every age, race, religion, birthplace, color, creed. We're fighting for ourselves. We're fighting for all Americans. And what is it, America first? Remember, it's America first. [cheers and applause]

Crowd. [chanting] USA! USA! USA! USA!

The President. Our agenda is not a partisan agenda, although some people say it is. Every once in a while, it does become that way, right? It's a mainstream, common sense agenda of the American people. It's where we want to be and where we want to go. [cheers and applause] And despite the fact that the media refuses to acknowledge what we've done and how well we're doing it — [booing] —

A new poll just came out as I was coming on and it shows—I don't know how you can do this I don't think I've had a good story in years. [laughter] I don't get good—I used to get great press until I decided to run for office. [cheers and applause] And we have done together, an incredible job. And a new poll just came out today. Rasmussen, one of the most respected polls, one of the polls that got the election right. So I have to remember that, you know what the number is, 52 percent, with no good news. [cheers and applause] Explain that. Explain that. Explain that. How do you get that when you don't get good press?

I guess 93 percent of the stories are negative. No matter what we do, they figure out a way to make it bad. [booing]

Like, I'll give you a quick example. When I came in, North Korea was—it looks like it was going to war. You know that. It was gonna happen, bad things. Now you have no missile launches. You have no rocket testing. You have no nuclear testing. I have a good relationship, maybe even a great relationship. We have tremendous sanctions on North Korea. But we have our hostages back. We have—remains are coming back. [cheers and applause] Remains.

And our presidents have been dealing with North Korea for many, many decades, many, many decades. And on a nuclear way over the last 20, 30 years. And all I hear is, "Can't you move faster?" You know what? I left Singapore 15 months ago, they've been negotiating for 85 years or something. So now their complaint is, "What's taking him so long?" I heard one of our great geniuses, uh, from a previous administration telling me how to negotiate with North Korea when they got taken advantage of like nobody I've ever seen before. [booing]

So, some day, with all of us, this is all of us—and those hats are beautiful, by the way Someday—[cheers and applause]—true. Someday they're going to appreciate us all. And I'm going to Vietnam. To Hanoi, in the near future, 27th and 28th of February, to have another summit. And hope we—hopefully, we do as well with the second summit as we did with the first. I hope so. [cheers and applause]

Now, we're delighted, and I'm delighted to be joined this evening by the Texas leaders. You have great leaders, great people, great help to me. [cheers and applause] That are at the forefront of this incredible American Revolution. You know, there's never been anything like this in the history of our country. We have to understand that. There's never been. If you would say, as an example, that tonight, 69,000 people signed up to be here. Now, the arena holds 8,000, and thank you fire department, they got in about 10, thank you fire department. [cheers and applause] Appreciate it.

But if you want to really see something, go outside, tens of thousands of people are watching screens outside [cheers and applause]. Tens of thousands. And we were all challenged by a young man who lost an election to Ted Cruz. [booing] And then they said, "You know what? Hey, you're supposed to win in order to run. By the way, we, I, we, I'm one and one, I'm one for one. Think of it. We had one election, we won, now we're going to be 2 for 0 and everything's going to be perfect. [cheers and applause]

But a young man who's got very little going for himself, except he's got a great first name. He has—he challenged us. So, we have, let's say, 35,000 people tonight and he has 200 people, 300 people, not too good. [cheers and applause] In fact, what I do, what I would do is I would say, "that may be the end of his presidential bid." But he did challenge us. [cheers and applause]

So, I want to introduce some great people. Your Governor, Greg Abbott. [cheers and applause] Greg. Where is he? Where's Greg? Thank you, Greg. And a great governor and a great friend of mine. Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick. [cheers and applause] Thanks Dan. Thank you, Dan. Look at him in the corner, so shy. Thank you, Dan. Great job, Dan. Attorney General Ken Paxton. [cheers and applause] Thanks, Ken. And Agriculture Commissioner, Sid Miller. [cheers and applause] Thank you, Sid. Thank you, everybody. Thanks, Ken. Great job you do. And we're especially grateful to your wonderful Senators, John Cornyn and Ted Cruz. [cheers and applause] Great Senators.

Crowd. [chanting] USA! USA! USA! USA!

The President. And we have a lot of your Congress men and women. We have a lot of them. Are you ready? And they're terrific. And they've been with us all the way. Pete Olson. Pete. Thanks, Pete. Thank you, Pete. Michael Burgess. Thanks, Michael. John Carter. Brian Babin. And Randy Weber. Thank you very much. [cheers and applause]

We are in the midst of an economic miracle. That's what's happened. You look all over the world and you study, and you see what's going on. You can look at China. We have a team right now in China. They want to make a deal very badly. Those tariffs are costing them a lot of money and they're going into our Treasury, remember that we're filling up with billions of dollars. And did you see the, you know, I haven't been here very long, the trade deficit really went down very big this last month, and people are saying, "Whoa." I told you so. That's what I do. [cheers and applause] That's what I do. And we don't want China to have a hard time. Thank you. Thank you. [cheers and applause]

I—I can only tell you this, we're going to make great deals on trade. We're going to make great deals on military. When we defend another nation that's rich, they have to help us out. Do we agree? They have to help us out. [cheers and applause] And they're doing it. They're doing it. You saw South Korea they were paying us $500 million a year. I say you got to do-do more. You gotta do more. Anyway. Now they're up to almost $900 million, that was like on two phone calls. [cheers and applause] I said—I said, "Why didn't they do this before?" They said, "Nobody ever asked. Nobody asked." You pick up almost $500 million a year. Nobody asked. We're defending rich countries. They've gotta help us out, folks. They've gotta help us out, sorry. [cheers and applause]

And you know what? They're going like us more and maybe more importantly, they going to respect us. [cheers and applause]

Since the election, we have created 5.3 million new jobs, including more than a half a million new manufacturing jobs. Remember, manufacturing was dead? [cheers and applause] They said manufacturing was dead, the previous administration. You'll never have it. You need the magic wand. That's what they said. We obviously, we found the magic wand. And by the way, those numbers 'r small compared to what's happening, compared to all of the companies that are moving in. The unemployment—[Trump stops and turns to see where a demonstrator is being removed; gestures.] [booing]

Crowd. [chanting] USA! USA! USA! USA!

The President. —Thank you very much. The unemployment rates for African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Asian Americans have reached the lowest level in the history of our country. [applause]

[Trump pauses again to look at something in front of him; pointing; Trump supporter had engaged with a photographer.]

Okay, thank you. Thank you.

Crowd. [chanting] Trump! Trump! Trump! Trump!

The President. Are you all right? Everything okay? Please. Okay. Thank you. Thank you.

And women have filled almost 60 percent of the new jobs created last year, which were a record number. [cheers and applause]

We passed massive tax cuts for working families and we canceled a record number of job killing regulations. That's why your oil and gas is coming back. [cheers and applause]

We eliminated the Obamacare individual mandate. [cheers and applause] And to give critically ill patients access to life saving treatments, we did something that they haven't been able to do for a long time, we passed Right to Try. Right to Try. [cheers and applause] That's an incredible thing, Right to Try. You know, we have the greatest doctors and research in the world. And if somebody was terminally ill, they traveled to Asia, they traveled to Europe, they'd travel all over the world, if they had the money. If they didn't have the money, they'd just go home, there was nothing they could do.

And I said, "Wait a minute. We have drugs in the pipeline that are showing tremendous progress. If somebody is terminally ill let's let them have access to our drugs. [cheers and applause] Let's let 'em have access." And it's much tougher than you would think. But we got it, and people, you will not understand, nobody understands, the lifesaving effects, it's incredible what's going on. They are getting better. People are getting better that were thinking they were going to die. It's Right to Try, I love it. I always wondered why we didn't do it before. [cheers and applause]

Now, the people in Texas won't care much about this, but the United States is now the number one producer of oil and natural gas on earth. [cheers and applause] I didn't think you'd care about that. I didn't think Texas would care about that. And listen to this. And Texas oil production is now at the highest level it's ever been. [cheers and applause] And only for the great oil professionals in the room, we're getting those pipelines approved so fast you'll be able to practically double up on oil production, oil and gas. [cheers and applause] They're getting approved at record levels and record time. That means more money, more security, and more independence for our country—it's very simple. [cheers and applause]

Another one they said could never get passed, they've been trying to do it for 40 years. We passed VA Choice, Veterans Choice. [cheers and applause] So that now, rather than waiting online for five days, for nine days, for three weeks – [booing]

[Trump stops to look to his left where two demonstrators with signs are being removed.]

Crowd. [chanting] USA! USA! USA! USA!

The President. Where do these people come from? Where do they come from? They go back home to Mommy. They get punished when they get home.

Crowd. [chanting] Build that wall! Build that wall! Build that wall! Build that wall!

The President. Now, you really mean "Finish that wall," because we've built a lot of it. It's finished already. [applause] But before we get to the wall. So, VA Accountability and VA Choice. Accountability, we couldn't fire anybody from the Veterans Administration. We couldn't fire anybody. They could treat our veterans badly. We had to take it. Now, you get rid of 'em. And VA Choice, they'd wait online for days and weeks, they couldn't see a doctor. Now, they go out, they have a choice. They get a private doctor. They have things taken care of and we pay their bill. [cheers and applause] They've been trying to get those two things fixed for many, many decades, many years, and we got it fixed.

We also passed the Farm bill for our wonderful farmers, ranchers, and growers. Just got it. [cheers and applause] We just got it passed and that wasn't easy, but we got it passed. We had to do it. Our farmers are great. So, we just get that done, farmers, ranchers, growers.

And we passed historic legislation to combat the Opioid Crisis. [Trump pauses and looks out to the crowd; some other disruption.]

Crowd. [chanting] Trump! Trump! Trump! Trump!

The President. Thank you. [audience disruption continues] [booing]

Crowd. [chanting] Nah, nah, nah nah. Nah, nah, nah nah. Hey, hey, hey, goodbye.

The President. Thank you. Is there any place that's more fun to be that a Trump rally, is there any place? [cheers and applause]

You know, they all said, "Mr. President, we loved the tone of your State of the Union speech." [cheers and applause] Some people said it was a great speech. Some people said, "Really a great speech." I said, "But if I ever did that in El Paso, Texas, it wouldn't, uh, work here too well," do you agree? Nice and calm. Nah [sic], that's not what you're looking for. This is more fun. This is more fun. [cheers and applause]

And we just signed groundbreaking criminal justice reform into law. Nobody thought that was going to be happening. [cheers and applause]

In my address last week, I asked lawmakers in both parties to cross the aisle and join together for the common good for all Americans. Democrats have to stop being so angry. They're angry. And they've got to start being partners to keep this incredible—really, look, is just an incredible miracle that's going on? We want to keep it going. [cheers and applause] Keep it going, and it will keep going. It will keep going.

There's so much to celebrate in our country, the economy, the military, so many things we've done scientifically. The world is trying to copy what we've done; they're not going to be able to do it. Not anymore. They were catching up fast, now they're going in the wrong direction. [cheers and applause] Wrong direction.

Unfortunately, many of the Democrats in Congress responded to my call for bipartisan cooperation by instead choosing really—hey, look, did you ever see anything—radical resistance, it's the radical left. But maybe it'll change. [booing] Maybe it'll change. It all has to do with 2020 and the election.

But I really don't like their policy of taking away your car, of taking away your airplane flights, of "Let's hop a train to California." [booing] Of—you're not allowed to own cows anymore. You know, a lot of problems. A lot of problems.

But nobody's ever had this. And by the way, with us, we handle it. No president should ever have to go through what we've gone through in the first two years. It's a hoax. It's a disgrace, and it should never be allowed to happen again. [cheers and applause] A hoax.

Just recently, as an example, Senator Richard Burr, from the great State of North Carolina. He's chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and they've been investigating this Russia hoax for two years. [booing] Think of it. They've interviewed over 200 people. They've studied hundreds of thousands of documents and pages and Richard just announced that they found no collusion between Donald Trump and Russia. [cheers and applause] Collusion. The fact is, that the real collusion was between Hillary and the Democrats and the other side with Russia, that's where the collusion is. [cheers and applause] That's where the collusion is.

Crowd. [chanting] Lock her up! Lock her up! Lock her up! Lock her up!

The President. That's starting to make a lot more sense. But that's where the collusion is, with the Democrats, and with Russia, and with others. And by the way, there's also collusion between the Democrats and the fake news right here. [booing] And they know it better than anybody.

Crowd. [garbled chanting]

The President. Too many Democrats are focused on tearing down their opposition instead of building up our country. They're trying to impose some of the most extreme measures and policies ever put forward by our Congress. And by the way, I don't think anybody in this room wants to pay 70, 80, 90 and 95 percent tax. Does anybody want to pay a 90 percent tax? [booing] You know, you look at what we've done with jobs, what we've done with the economy, how low your taxes are, the lowest they've been almost from the beginning, who the hell wants to change what we're doing now?

We are a hot, hot country. Last week they introduced a massive government takeover that would destroy our incredible economic gains. They introduced the so-called Green New Deal. [booing] It sounds like a high school term paper that got a low mark. [laughter] It would shut down American energy, which I don't think the people in Texas are going to be happy with that. [booing]

It would shut down a little thing called air travel. [booing] How do you take a train to Europe? [laughter] You know, this—this crazy senator from Hawaii, they said, "Do you like it?" "Yes, I like it very much." Oh, really, how are we getting to Hawaii on a train? [laughter] She didn't think about that one but she's thinking about it. She'll figure it out.

They want to take away your car, reduce the value of your home, and put millions of Americans out of work, spend $100 trillion, which by the way, there's no such thing as $100 trillion, you have to spend $100 trillion—and remember this, no other country except us is going to do it. That's a little problem, too.

While the world's real polluters, like China, would get many of our companies and factories, they'd just move into China, move into other parts of the world. That's the way the system works. Not gonna happen folks. Don't worry, it's not going to happen. [cheers and applause] Not going to happen. $100 trillion. Let's spend $100 trillion. Let's rip down every building in New York City and rebuild it environmentally slightly better.

To pave the way for socialism, Democrats are calling for massive tax hikes and the complete elimination of private health care. Many of us have private health care. That means you can stand on line [sic] for five days as you wait for a doctor that is not nearly as talented as your doctor. Remember? "You can keep your doctor." Remember that? Twenty-eight times, "You can keep it." [booing] That didn't happen. It turned out to be a lie.

Hey, where are the fact checkers? You know, some of the most dishonest people in media are the so-called fact checkers. [booing] Twenty-eight times, "You can keep your doctor." That didn't turn out to be what he said.

They're coming for your money and they're coming for your freedom and it'll never happen, and it won't even come close, folks. [cheers and applause]

Democrats are also pushing extreme late-term abortion. [booing] Allowing children to be ripped from their mother's womb right up until the moment of birth. What's that all about? [booing]

So, in Virginia, the governor, he's got a little publicity lately. [laughter] I like 'em. It keeps us out of the papers. I like 'em. I'd like to find a few more guys like this one. He almost moon walked. His wife stopped him, "Darling, darling, that would be inappropriate." I want to see somebody trying to imitate Michael Jackson in the moonwalk. This would not have been a good scene. His wife saved him. "Darling, this would be inappropriate." I think she was right. But the governor stated that he would even allow a newborn baby to come out into the world and wrap the baby and make the baby comfortable. And then talk to the mother and talk to the father and then execute the baby. Execute the baby. [booing]

Incredible. Millions of innocent beautiful babies are counting on us to protect them, and we will. [cheers and applause] That is why last week I go I called on Congress, with your great congressman over there—thank you, fellas—to immediately pass legislation prohibiting extreme late-term abortion. [cheers and applause] And that certainly is extreme. Many people never even heard of it. I mean, have you ever even hear of anything like this?

Crowd. No!

The President. Democrats must also address the double standard on full display in Virginia. By the way, that state's going to go Republican pretty soon, I'm pretty sure [cheers and applause]—because the Democrat Party has never been more outside of the mainstream.

They're becoming the party of socialism, late-term abortion, open borders, and crime. [booing] This weekend, some Democrats even proposed a measure that would force the release of thousands of criminal illegal aliens—[booing]—including dangerous felons convicted of rape, sex trafficking, violent assault, and even murder, into our country. Can you believe this? [booing]

Their proposal would put a hard cap on the number of illegal aliens that are brave ICE officers, we love our ICE officers—[cheers and applause]—can detain and thus remove, forcing thousands of criminals to be set free into United States communities. I don't think so. Okay. I don't think so. And I want to thank our ICE offices. What they put up is incredible—[applause]—and that includes Border Patrol and that includes law enforcement. Let's face it. Law enforcement, we love them. They keep us safe. In the last two years alone, ICE officers have made 200—listen to these numbers—266,000 arrests of criminal aliens, including those charged or convicted of approximately 100,000 assaults, 40,000, 40, 40,000 larcenies, 30,000 sex crimes, 25,000 burglaries, 12,000 vehicle thefts, 11,000 robberies, 4,000 kidnappings, and 4,000 murders—[booing]—murders, murders, killings, murders.

Crowd. [chanting] Build that wall! Build that wall! Build that wall! Build that wall!

The President. We will. We will. If we cut detention space, we are cutting loose dangerous criminals into our country. Slashing ICE detention is the first step of many for the far left. I call them the radical left. We will never abolish ICE. They want to abolish ICE. We're never going to abolish ICE. [booing] So, let me say very clearly to those pushing this ridiculous and radical agenda, I will never sign a bill that forces the mass release of violent criminals into our country. [cheers and applause] And I will never abolish or in any way mistreat our great heroes from ICE, and Border Patrol, and law enforcement. Never. [cheers and applause]

We will always stand with those brave men and women. We'll always be with them. We're going to take care of them just like they take care of us, remember that. [cheers and applause]

And I have to tell you, as I was walking up to the stage, they said that progress is being made with this committee. Just so you know, we're building the wall anyway. [cheers and applause] They say that progress has been made, with this committee. [cheers and applause] Just now. Just now. I said, "Wait a minute. I got to take care of my people from Texas. I got to go. I don't even want to hear about it." I don't wanna hear about it. So, I don't know what they mean, "Progress is being made. Significant". Now, what did happen, is the Democrats were being hit really hard on the concept of releasing criminals into our society, that has not been playing well. So maybe progress is being made, maybe not. But I had a choice, I could have stayed out there and listened or I could have come out to the people of El Paso in Texas. [cheers and applause] I chose you. I chose you.

Crowd. [chanting] We chose you! We chose you! We chose you! We chose you!

The President. So—so we probably have some good news. But who knows? Who knows? We'll—we're—we're setting the stage, folks. You know what it's called, right? It's called we're setting the stage. We're setting the table. We're doing whatever we have to do. The wall's being built, it'll continue. It's going at a rapid pace. The Rio Grande. It's happening, go check it out. [cheers and applause]

We proudly welcome those who come lawfully, and support our values in the United States, and that want to strengthen our society and help us with all of the companies moving into the United States, moving back, they left us now, they're moving back, many of them, in some cases, maybe all of them, but they all want to come back because the United States is where the action is, very simple. [cheers and applause]

Crowd. [chanting] USA! USA! USA! USA!

The President. It's where the action is. And it is—we're most proud of the fact, you look at the car companies, they're moving back. They're going into Michigan. They're going into Pennsylvania. They're going back to Ohio. So many companies are coming back. And by the way, that's why I want people to come into our country. But they have to come in legally and they have to come in through merit. [cheers and applause] Through merit. So, they can help us build our country.

Make America Great Again, pretty soon we're going to be saying, Keep America Great. Keep America Great. [cheers and applause] Pretty soon. Pretty soon, congressman. Keep America Great. We'll have to switch over.

Tell me. Tell me, the campaign's sort of started 'cause you have these people that nobody ever heard of, they're all running for office. I said, "Who is that?"

"Well, that person was a mayor of a city that was defeated."

Well, how about Beto, Beto was defeated too, right? [booing] But he suffered a great defeat. Watch what the news does tomorrow, though, they won't mention the disparity. They won't mention the disparity tomorrow. They'll say, "Beto O'Rourke." That's his last name, right, O'Rourke? Beto O'Rourke had a wonderful rally of about 15 people. [laughter] No, when they get honest, when the media starts becoming honest, and maybe they will. Because we've done something that's never been done before, we have suffered a totally dishonest media and we've won. And it's driving them crazy. [cheers and applause] It's driving them craaazy. It's driving them crazy but look at them, they still come. I've never seen anything [cheers and applause]

But illegal immigration hurts all Americans, including millions of legal immigrants, by driving down wages, draining public resources, and claiming countless innocent lives. You see what's going on, folks. You know what's going on. They give you all of these phony stats. They say, "Oh, it's the same. It's the same." It's not the same. It's a bad situation going on, and we've stopped it. We are taking out thousands and thousands of people from MS-13. We're bringing them the hell out of our country, thousands. [applause] But if we had proper border security, including a very powerful wall, we wouldn't have to work so hard. And it would be a lot safer and a lot better.

My Administration is committed to ending illegal immigration, while modernizing our legal immigration system, which has been in terrible shape for many, many decades, to prioritize the admission of those who can support themselves for them financially and contribute to our economy, people that come in on merit, merit, merit. [cheers and applause]

Instead of random lotteries and chain migration. Chain migration, that's another beauty. [booing] We want a merit-based system for entry. This will improve living conditions for all Americans living here today, both immigrant and U.S.-born. Everybody's going to be happy. And we need the people to take care of these companies that are moving. Our unemployment rate, real unemployment, 3.6, 3.7—[cheers and applause]—and going down. Had a little blip because of a thing called the shutdown.

But remember this, it went up to 4.0. I said, "Boy, that's—" Do you know how low 4.0 is? Do you know anybody else, any other president that would have said, "Please give me 4.0, please?" [laughter] We had a little blip, it went up from 3.7 to 4.0, just quickly. But you know what? If we didn't do that shutdown, we would not have been able to show this country, these politicians, the world, what the hell is happening with the border. That was a very important thing we did. Very important, yeah. [cheers and applause]

And the fact is, illegal immigration is a heartbreaking human tragedy. One in three women is sexually assaulted on the very long and dangerous journey north up to our country. Sex traffickers, these are the worst human beings on earth, exploit our porous border to sell young girls and women into modern day slavery. You wouldn't even know that nobody knows that. And by the way, do you think they come in through the ports of entry?

Crowd. NO!!!

The President. I listen to the Democrats, let me be nice, just say the Democrats, I won't be specific. And they say, "Oh, everything comes through the port." They don't do that. They drive out where there's no barrier, no wall, they make a left. Congratulations, you're in the United States. That's all. If you have three women tied up in the backseat of a car, you're not going through, folks, a port of entry where they do look in the backseat, at least, right?

Drugs pouring through the border kills tens of thousands of innocent Americans a year, including heroin, meth, cocaine, fentanyl, so many others. They come through the Southern border. We have a drug problem over the last 6, 7, 10 years like we have never had before. We can have such a big cut in the numbers, in the percentages, if we get the wall built—if we have a strong wall with other things. [cheers and applause] But we need the wall, and it has to be built, and we want to build it fast.

The number of illegal immigrants crossing our borders is so large that we've nowhere to hold them. We have to build—they want buildings they want jails. They want, these people, how about the word caravan? Caravan. [booing] I think that was one of mine, but it looked like a caravan. Where you have thousands and thousands of people coming from Guatemala, from Honduras, and El Salvador, and they march up through Mexico.

And by the way, if we didn't have walls in those areas, in some cases that we put up. In many cases where we reinforced. In many cases where our great military helped us with barbed wire. You would have people pouring in. They don't pour in. [applause]

The problem is our laws are so bad that there's no way we can quickly remove them. Other countries say, "Get out of here." We have to bring them through a court system. We sign their names. They touch our land. We sign 'em up. We explain to 'em, "Please come back in six years for court." And only the dumbest people show back up. Nobody ever shows up. Nobody comes back in, like 2 percent. They go into our country.

The good news is we have great law enforcement and many of these people, we know where they are, and we're going to get 'em the hell out. But we have to change our laws. [cheers and applause] So right now we have a backlog. You won't even believe this. Other countries don't do this. Somebody walks into our country, we bring them to court, we have now a legal—we need Perry Mason—[laughter]—we have a legal case.

Nobody else does that. Other countries say, "Get out. Can't come in. You're not a citizen of whatever country." We bring 'em in. So, listen to this, right now we have almost 900,000 cases, 900,000. How many judges are going to take care of —we're going to have to hire tens of thousands of judges to do that. 900,000 cases. How stupid is this? This was a system put in place by really dumb people or people that did not have the best interests of our country at heart. [cheers and applause]

And there's no place better to talk about border security, whether they like it or not, because I've been hearing a lot of things," Oh, the wall didn't make that much of a difference." You know where it made a big difference? Right here in El Paso. [cheers and applause] And I've been watching where they've been trying to say, "Oh, the wall didn't make that much—" Well you take a look at what they did with their past crimes, and how they made them from very serious to much lesser. You take a look at what the real system is. I spoke to people that have been here a long time. They said, "When that wall went up, it's a whole different ball game." Is that a correct statement? [cheers and applause] Whole different ball game.

I'll give you another example. And I don't care whether a mayor is a Republican or a Democrat, they're full of crap when they say it hasn't made a big difference. [cheers and applause] I heard the same thing from the fake news. They said, "Oh, crime actually stayed the same." Didn't stay the same. Went way down and look at what they did to their past crimes and look at how they recorded those past crimes. Went way, way down.

These people, you know, you'd think did want to get to the bottom of a problem and solve a problem. Not try and pull the wool over everybody's eyes. So, for those few people that are out there on television saying, "Oh, it didn't make too much of a difference," it made a tremendous— people from El Paso. Am I right? [cheers and applause]

It's fake news. It's fake. I'm telling you, just fake news. And you know what? You wouldn't even have to know you can say that automatically without even knowing it. It's obvious, it's common sense. Just a few thousand feet, as an example, from where we stand right now on the other side of the border, it's one of the most dangerous cities in the world, Juarez, Mexico. Well, the people at Juarez agree.

Yet, thanks to a powerful border wall in El Paso, Texas, it's one of America's safest cities now. [cheers and applause] Now, listen to the this... .So. You're talking a few feet away, right, a few feet, got a wall, it's a few feet away. Last year, Juarez had 1,200 murders. El Paso, right next door, a few feet away, had 23 murders. That's not good either. [applause] But 23 compared to 1,200. Walls work. Actually, there's nothing like 'em for what we're talking about. We want to stop drugs. We want to stop traffickers. We want to stop criminals from coming in. Walls save lives. [cheers and applause] Walls save tremendous numbers of lives.

The biggest proponents of open borders are rich liberals and wealthy donors. These are hypocrites who oppose security for you while living their entire lives—I do it too, to be honest with you. I'm guilty. I'm guilty. I also live behind walls, okay. They live behind walls and gates. And they have guards all over the place. Me too, because I want to be safe and I want to make America safe, if you don't mind. [cheers and applause]

Crowd. [chanting] USA! USA! USA! USA!

The President. So, security should not belong only to the rich and to the powerful. Safety is the birthright of every American, which is why we must finish the wall. [cheers and applause] It's happening. Because walls are not immoral, as it was said. Human trafficking is immoral.

Crowd. YES!

The President. Drug peddling is immoral.

Crowd. YES!

The President. Child smuggling is immoral.

Crowd. YES!

The President. Sanctuary Cities that get Americans killed, they're immoral.

Crowd. YES!

The President. Open borders are dangerous and immoral.

Crowd. YES!

The President. My administration has put forward a compromise that really is a compromise, and I hate even compromise on things like this. But it's showing common sense, it's compassionate, and it's going to solve our problem and the cost is a fraction. When you look at the drugs that are pouring across from Mexico, if it stopped a small percentage, and it won't, it'll stop a large percentage, it would pay for itself in a matter of weeks. That's the kind of numbers you're talking about, a matter of weeks. [applause] And by the way, I—I hate to say this, because we have a very good relationship. But Mexico had the highest number of killings that they've ever had, almost 40,000 people were murdered in Mexico. Mexico is not too far away, and we need to take care of our people and we're going to do that and it's happening and it's happening a lot faster than anybody thought. And I love that sign. Thank you. [cheers and applause]

What we're proposing includes humanitarian assistance, drug detection at our ports, and everywhere else, closing legal loopholes, which is a big problem, and plans for a smart, strategic, see-through steel barrier or wall, let's call it a wall, it's better. [applause]

This wall will be built in the areas identified by border agents as having the greatest need while safely directing people and commerce to our many lawful ports of entry, which we're beefing up in every way, structurally, we're beefing up the ports of entry and mechanically. We have equipment now that can spot drugs. It's incredible stuff. It's expensive. It's incredible.

By the way, there is nothing better than a good old-fashioned German Shepherd. It's hard to believe, [cheers and applause] right. It's true you know, I—I was with the people and they're showing me this incredible computerized stuff and where it goes. I said "Could I—" Because Secret Service took me out to the place and they were showing me these German Shepherds, they're unbelievable. They'll run past all these empty boxes and one of the boxes has drugs in it, deep down in a box. And they come to a screeching halt barking at it every time.

So, I asked the people that sell the machinery, at a lot of money, I said, "Let me ask you a question. This stuff is incredible. I'm really impressed. How does it compare to a German Shepherd?"

The guy looks at and says, "Sir, honestly, it's not as good." Can you believe it? A German Shepard. Certain types of dogs, pretty good.

You do love your dogs, don't you? [cheers and applause] I wouldn't mind having one, honestly, but I don't have any time, I don't have... How would I look walking a dog on the White House lawn, would that be [cheers and applause] Right, sort of not for—I don't know, it doesn't—I don't feel good. It feels a little phony-phony to me. A lot of people say, "Oh, you should get a dog." "Why?" "It's good politically." I said, "Look, that's not the relationship I have with my people. We want—"

[Crowd members yells something about Obama]

The President. Yeah, Obama had a dog, you're right. [laughter]

Both parties should come together to finally create a safe and lawful system of immigration. The American people have waited long enough. We must secure the border, pass Kate's Law. [cheers and applause] End Catch and Release, shutdown Sanctuary Cities—you know, we need Democrat votes to do that. Deport criminal aliens and keep the coyotes and traffickers and drug dealers the hell out of our country, please. [cheers and applause]

And the Democrats also need to confirm the more than 300 highly qualified nominees who are sitting in the Senate waiting for confirmation, people that have given up their lives to work in the Trump administration and the Democrats aren't approving them. It's a record. [booing] It's total obstruction. It's a record of the history of our country there has never been... Some people left the job a year and a half ago, two years ago, to become an ambassador or to work at one of our many great agencies, and we can't get Schumer and his friends to approve them.

It's total obstruction. [booing] There's never been anything like it. Very, very unfair. Very unfair to these people. In many cases, seriously, they've left jobs, and they're waiting and waiting and waiting. They're slow walking every single one of them. It's a disgrace.

As we fight to protect our borders, we must also protect our newfound prosperity. My Administration has taken the toughest ever action to crack down on years of China's abuse, and its trade practices have been very unfair. And I have a lot of respect for President Xi, but he's representing China and I'm representing the United States. [cheers and applause]

We're also replacing one of the worst deals ever made, probably the worst trade deal ever done, although I happen to think that the WTO is not so good either. We're replacing NAFTA with a brand-new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement that everybody is loving. [cheers and applause] Gotta get Congress to approve it. We've got to get Congress to approve it. We'll get it, I think done. I mean, there's such obstruction in Congress, you know, they won't even do things that are good for our country now. They would rather have Trump have a loss than get something that's so good for our country.

Our farmers are happy, everybody's happy. And it's going to be jobs. You know, what it does? It stops companies from moving out. It makes it very hard economically for companies to say, "Hey, thanks a lot. We're firing everybody, we're moving to Mexico." Makes it very, very hard. You know, that's been a bone of contention for me for many years.

I've seen 25 percent and more of our automobile business move to Mexico. And it's not going to happen anymore. Not going to happen anymore. [cheers and applause] Unless they want to pay nice big fat tariffs to send their cars back into this country. We've achieved—and by the way, tariffs have had an incredible effect. Just ask the folks in China, "How are we doing with tariffs?" You ask.

And you ask, "How are we doing in our negotiations?" The fact is, and I say it openly, either they treat us fairly or they have to pay for the privilege of coming in and taking our wealth and taking our jobs. [cheers and applause] It's very simple. It's very, very simple. And if you look back at our country, when we were very rich, when we had no debt, when we had no problems economically, you take back—you take a look, 1888, the Great Tariff Debate, you know the debate was about? Our country had so much money they had to debate what the hell to do with all the money because tariffs were bringing in a fortune into the United States.

So, at a minimum, countries in negotiating with us very seriously because of the fact that they don't want to have to pay to come in and take advantage of our country, that's at a minimum. [cheers and applause] Check it out, 1888. Have the press check it out. They'll say, "Donald Trump said 1888." [laughter]

We've achieved the largest decline in drug prices in 46 years, prescription drugs. And I'm asking Congress to work with me to make prescription drugs affordable for every American family. We just got the largest decrease in drug prices, think of that, and it's not easy, it's not easy. Because we have middlemen that take care of a lot of people for a lot of years, these middlemen. And the drug companies, but even worse, the middleman. And we're cutting the middleman out. They're not going to like me very much. They made a lot of money. But think of that. The better—the first time in 46 years. And now we're going to phase three, we did one statutorily, we did two statutorily, now we go to phase three. We're getting your drug prices down.

We're embarking on bold initiatives to defeat AIDS. Who knew that? We have medicines now that work wonders on AIDS. We're looking to be AIDS-free in not many years as a country and maybe help, also, the world, the world. [cheers and applause] So we want to defeat AIDS, and we want to defeat childhood cancer. We've made tremendous strides. [applause] Tremendous strides.

In the Middle East, our brave warriors have liberated virtually 100 percent of ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Now, you don't hear that from these people. [applause] Now, we've taken back—soon it'll be announced soon, maybe over the next week, maybe less, but it'll be announced very soon—we'll have 100 percent. When I took over this country, it was a mess. And if I wouldn't have been elected—you know, I have so many people, I was just walking up, and every time it happens, "Sir, thank you. Thank you very much." This guy, he's—he's like a monster. No, no, it's true. These people. This guy is like a monster.

He's like this monster football—a big, strong guy. He says to me, he said [aside in response to someone in audience] Thank you very much. I don't know what they're saying, but that's okay.

No, he's this big, strong guy and he's crying. And he said, "Mr. P—" I'm walking up, and he said, and it happens all the time, "Thank you very much, Mr. President." I said, "For what?" He said, "You've saved our country. Our country was going in the wrong direction. You've saved our country. Thank you." I've had so many people say that. [cheers and applause] So many people.

You know what the truth is though? I didn't save our country. We're now heading in the right direction. It's very tough because we have so many things were fighting, including these people [gestures to media]. But so many people that we're fighting, so many people that are either foolish or ill-intentioned. But you know, I didn't save our county. You know saved who our country? You saved our country. You saved our country. God. [cheers and applause]

Because there's never—nothing like this has ever happened before. And you know what? The world is watching and when prime ministers, and when presidents, and kings and queens, they talk to me they say, "Congratulations on what's happened with your economy, Mr. President, it's incredible." They're emulating what we're doing. [cheers and applause] They can't believe it.

So, we continue to decimate the remnants, because they're always going to be remnants, we can take the area the land, we'll soon have 100 percent, but they're always remnants, they get out, they wrap themselves in bombs. They're crazy. They're lunatics. But you're always going to have that. But we want to bring, now—got a 100 percent. It was so bad when I took over. It was going the opposite direction. Syria, we want to bring our troops back home. It's time. [cheers and applause] It's time. It's time.

And thanks to the extraordinary service of our military in Afghanistan—19 years we're in Afghanistan [booing]—we may now be able to seek a political resolution that, frankly, they've wanted to talk about for a long time. We've hit 'em very hard, but it's been 19 years. Think of that, 19 years. We spend more on military in Afghanistan, $50 billion a year, than most countries spend on their entire country, healthcare, education, everything. We spend more than they do.

It's time to start thinking smart for our country. What we want to build our country. [applause] We want to spend money in our country. We want to build our roads, and highways, and bridges, and dams. [cheers and applause]

And last month the United States recognized the legitimate government of Venezuela and condemned the socialist brutality of the Maduro regime. [booing] Everywhere socialism has been, everywhere it's been implemented, it's produced poverty, misery, repression, and despair. You take a look no matter where. Yet, there are those trying to implement socialism right here in the United States. So, I, again, say to you—[booing]—And I say it for the world to hear, America will never be a Socialist country, never, never. [cheers and applause]

Crowd. [chanting] USA! USA! USA! USA!

The President. We're born free. We will live free, and we will die free. We will always be free. [cheers and applause]

Each of us here tonight is united by the same timeless values. We believe in the American Constitution and our great rule of law. We believe in the dignity of work and the sanctity of life. We believe that faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, are the center of the American way. [cheers and applause]

We believe in religious liberty, the right to free speech, and the right to keep and bear arms. [cheers and applause]

We believe that children should be taught to love our country, honor our incredible history, and always respect our great American flag. [cheers and applause]

We believe that the first duty of government is to be loyal to its citizens. And we live by the words of our national motto that we are going to keep—we'll never change this—"In God We Trust." [cheers and applause]

These are the beliefs, traditions, and principles that bind us together as citizens, as neighbors, as great patriots. These are the values that unite people all across the great State of Texas. [cheers and applause] From Houston to Austin, from Dallas to El Paso [applause], from the Red River to the Rio Grande, the Lone Star State embodies the spirit of independence like maybe no other place anywhere in the world. [cheers and applause] And you have always embraced the cause of American freedom like no one else.

This is the state where William Travis, James Bowie, and Davy Crockett made their last stand at the Alamo. [cheers and applause]

This is the state where a small band of patriots at the Battle of Gonzalez, armed with a single cannon, stared down a foreign, powerful army and declared, "Come and take it. Come and take it. Come on, take it." [cheers and applause]

And Texas is the state where generations of farmers, ranchers, oil workers, and pioneers help build up the most extraordinary nation in all of human history. That's what we are. [cheers and applause] We were losing track. We didn't lose track anymore, we're just straight on that track.

Now, just like generations of Texas patriots who came before, you are going to make your stand. That's what we've done, we've made our stand and we've made it together. This is a big group of millions and millions of people that have come together like never before in our history. This has never happened before. [cheers and applause]

And we've come for safety, for sovereignty, and for the sacred rights given to us by the hand of Almighty God. [cheers and applause]

We are one united movement, one united people, and one United States of America. [cheers and applause]

And together, with the proud and incredible and great people of the State of Texas, we will make America wealthy again. [cheers and applause]

We will make America strong again. [cheers and applause]

We will make America safe again. [cheers and applause]

And we will make America great again. [cheers and applause] Thank you, Texas. Thank you.

[Music: The Rolling Stones, "You Can't Always Get What You Want"]

NOTE: The President spoke at the El Paso County Coliseum. Also speaking were American Digital Consultant and Political Advisor Brad Parscale, Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, and Donald Trump Jr., Executive Vice-President of The Trump Organization. The President spoke for about 54 minutes.

This transcript was prepared for the American Presidency Project by UCSB Research Assistant Paul Souza.

This was President Trump's first rally since the midterm elections.

Donald J. Trump, Remarks at a "Make America Great Again" Rally in El Paso, Texas Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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