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Hispanics ‘already’ love him, Trump says

Supporters greet Donald Trump in Laredo, Texas, Thursday. (Associated Press)
Supporters greet Donald Trump in Laredo, Texas, Thursday. (Associated Press)
Associated Press

LAREDO, Texas – Ever sure of himself, Donald Trump paid a whirlwind visit to the Mexico border Thursday and predicted Hispanics would love him – “they already do” – because as president he’d grab jobs back from overseas and give more opportunity to those who live in the U.S. legally.

“There’s great danger with the illegals,” the Republican presidential contender told reporters. But he claimed a “great relationship” with Hispanics, even as Latino leaders have come at him with blistering criticism for his painting Mexican immigrants as criminals.

“I’ll take jobs back from China, I’ll take jobs back from Japan,” Trump said. “The Hispanics are going to get those jobs, and they’re going to love Trump.”

The in-and-out border visit came as Trump continued to dominate attention in the GOP presidential race, to the growing exasperation of his rivals. Campaigning in Gorham, New Hampshire, Jeb Bush offered a distinctly different message in the immigration debate – and spoke partly in Spanish.

“A Republican will never be elected president of the United States again unless we campaign like this,” Bush said, gesturing with open arms.

“Unless we campaign openly – where we campaign in every nook and cranny of this country, where we go campaign in the Latino communities, fast-growing communities all across this country that will make a difference in who the next president is going to be.”

Trump spent nearly an hour touring the World Trade Bridge with the city’s mayor and manager, according to his campaign, before holding a news conference at the border crossing.

A local border patrol union pulled out of events involving him.

Trump stepped off his plane in Laredo and said the union members backed out because they were “petrified and they’re afraid of saying what’s happening” at the border. Dozens of people were on hand, a mix of protesters and supporters.

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