It all began on June 16, 2015, when Trump announced he would run for president. He used the speech as an opportunity to also share how he feels about Mexicans immigrating to the United States: “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best,” he said. “They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
During that same speech, Trump put forth another controversial proposal: the construction of a border wall between the United States and Mexico.
And he followed that up with a promise, a few days later, that he would make Mexico pay for the 1,000-mile wall, at a price tag of $10 billion.
After former Mexican President Vicente Fox promised that Mexico would not be paying for the “f*cking wall,” Trump told CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer: "Mexico will pay for it, because they are not doing us any favors. They could stop all of this illegal trade if they wanted to immediately. Mexico will pay for the wall. It's a small portion of the kind of money that we lose and the deficits that we have with Mexico.”
To further fan the flames, the candidate said in April of this year that financing for the wall would come from remittances that Mexican immigrants send to Mexico. Trump said that the nearly $25 billion sent home by Mexicans living abroad in 2015 “comes from illegal aliens.”
(According to a Government Accountability Office report, it’s impossible to know how much is sent by those in the country working illegally versus legally.)
Remittances make up 2% of Mexico’s GDP.
Trump has also promised to deport more than 11 million undocumented people in the United States.
And of course, there were comments about U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel.
After Curiel ordered Trump University to make public internal documents as part of a civil fraud lawsuit against Trump University in May, Trump attacked the judge as “an enemy of Donald Trump” and “a very hostile judge” who is “Mexican.”
Trump told The Wall Street Journal that the judge’s "Mexican heritage" and membership in Latino lawyers associations represented an "absolute conflict" of interest in the case.
Trump even criticized the Pope over Mexico.
Ahead of Pope Francis’ visit to the U.S.-Mexico border in February, Trump expressed his disapproval: “I think that the pope is a very political person. I don’t think he understands the danger of the open border that we have with Mexico. They’re making a fortune, and we’re losing.”
In March, Peñna Nieto compared Trump’s rhetoric to that of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.
In the past two weeks, Trump has appeared to be distancing himself from previous hard-line statements he made about immigration. After his visit with Peña Nieto, Trump will travel to Phoenix, Arizona, where he plans to unveil his immigration plan tonight.