PENSACOLA, Fla. — After months of declaring that he would curtail legal and illegal immigration, Donald Trump proclaimed at a campaign rally on Wednesday night that as president he would allow “tremendous numbers” of legal immigrants based on a “merit system.”
Trump was then cut off by loud cheers from the crowd and many of his supporters shouting: “Legally!”
“They have to come in legally,” Trump said, continuing. “And we’ll have merit involved, too. Wouldn’t it be nice if we went a little bit on the merit system? We take people that are really going to help us to grow our country? Wouldn’t that be nice? Somebody said: 'You can’t say that; that’s not politically correct.' Well, I just said it, folks.”
This isn't the first time Trump has called for an immigration merit system, although the idea is not a regular part of his campaign speeches. It's unclear what sort of “merit” Trump would weigh. His campaign has yet to respond to a request for more information.