Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump took his alarmist rhetoric on U.S. immigration policies to new heights on Sunday, telling a group of supporters in Albuquerque, New Mexico, that his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton would welcome “650 million” new immigrants to the United States “in one week,” and thereby “triple the size of our country.”
The claim, which is utterly false, came in a riff Trump did on border security, where he went off his Teleprompter to suggest that it would be much easier to be a border security agent under a Democratic administration than under a potential Trump administration. (It starts at around the 25-minute mark in the video above.)
“You know, it would be much easier working for Obama or working for Crooked Hillary [than Trump], because frankly, when you’re working for Hillary she wants to let people just pour in,” Trump told the more than 2,000 supporters who gathered in a private jet hangar to hear him speak.
“You could have 650 million people pour in and we do nothing about it,” Trump told the riled-up crowd. “Think of it, that’s what could happen. You triple the size of our country in one week.”
Minutes later, Trump seemed to agree with a key part of Clinton’s actual immigration reform plan, when he told the crowd he would support an increase in immigration visas for skilled workers.
“We want people to come into our country!” Trump bellowed. “Just so you know, I want people to come in.”
Trump’s claim about the 650 million people represented the latest item in a growing list of patently false statistics that he has cited at recent rallies, as general election polls have shown him trailing Clinton by significant margins.
At two rallies Sunday, the Republican nominee also repeated the bogus claim that the U.S. murder rate “is at its highest point in 45 years.” Contrary to what Trump has said, exhaustive evidence shows the murder rate in the United States has fallen over the past four decades.
Moreover, there is no evidence that if she were elected president, Clinton would increase the U.S. population by hundreds of millions of immigrants, despite her support for comprehensive immigration reform and a path to citizenship for undocumented migrants living in the United States.