By David Siders
April 28, 2016 – 10:24 PM
- Republican presidential candidate touches off campaign in California with rally in Orange County
- Trump pins rising crime in Los Angeles area to illegal immigration
- Thousands rally, while protesters demonstrate outside
Donald Trump, touching off his presidential campaign in California ahead of the state’s critical primary, said Thursday that California has suffered more than any other state from “open borders,” while pinning crime in the Los Angeles area to illegal immigration.
Rallying thousands of supporters in Orange County, the Republican frontrunner lamented rising crime in Los Angeles and invited on stage families of people killed by undocumented immigrants.
“We’re going to build a wall,” said Trump, appearing in an amphitheater with a large American flag draped behind him. “We can’t have this, folks. We don’t have a country anymore. I’m looking at statistics where your crime numbers are so crazy, they’re going through the roof.”
The speech, Trump’s first in California since it became clear the primary here could prove determinative, underscored how prominently Trump’s signature policy proposal – to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border – remains to his campaign.
“No state in America has suffered worse from open borders than the state of California,” Trump said. “Its impact on jobs, wages, security, schools, hospitals, has been devastating.”
While Trump’s supporters chanted “Build that wall” inside the Orange County Fair & Event Center, crowds of protesters blocked traffic outside. Some waved Mexican flags.
I’m looking at statistics where your crime numbers are so crazy, they’re going through the roof.
The rally followed Trump’s victories in five states on Tuesday and marked a shift in focus toward California – and its massive bank of delegates – ahead of the June 7 primary.
Ted Cruz and John Kasich, who are scrambling to deny Trump the delegates needed to secure the nomination, are scheduled to speak at the California Republican Party’s convention in Burlingame this weekend. Trump will appear at the convention Friday.
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