LOS ANGELES: Donald Trump ordered Univision anchor Jorge Ramos unceremoniously evicted from a news conference Tuesday as the immigration issue continued to dominate the Republican presidential primary.
At the news conference in Dubuque, Iowa, Ramos stood without being called on and began asking questions about Trump’s immigration proposals, which include ending birthright citizenship and deporting the estimated 11 million people who are in the U.S. illegally, along with their families.
Trump did not answer, but told Ramos to sit down.
“You weren’t called,” said Trump. “Sit down.”
As Ramos continued to ask questions, Trump again asked him to sit down.
“Go back to Univision,” Trump told Ramos, who is based in Miami at the Spanish-language network.
The candidate continued to tell the anchor to sit down, until security escorted Ramos out of the room.
When asked by a reporter why he’d had Ramos kicked out, Trump said he didn’t know much about him.
“I don’t believe I’ve ever met him, except he started screaming. I didn’t escort him out,” Trump said. “You’ll have to talk to security, whoever security is.”
Ramos had not screamed.
Shortly thereafter, Ramos was allowed to return, and Trump called on him. Ramos stood and began to ask questions.
“How are you going to build a 1,900-mile wall?” he asked, referring to Trump’s plan to wall off the U.S.-Mexico border and make the Mexican government pay for it.
“Very easy. I’m a builder,” Trump said, noting his background in real estate development.
When Ramos asked how Trump planned to deport everyone in the country who is here illegally, the billionaire businessman said he’d do it in a “humane way.”
“I have a bigger heart than you do,” Trump said.
As Ramos continued to press him during their five-minute exchange, Trump turned to the issue of crime, which he says is associated with illegal immigration.
“Listen, we have tremendous crime,” Trump said. “We have some very bad ones” — apparently alluding to immigrants in the country illegally.
Trump has used crime as a wedge in the immigration debate, citing in particular a killing in San Francisco last month in which the suspect had been deported five times.
And finally, Trump reminded Ramos he was suing Univision for dropping Trump’s Miss Universe pageant — a decision the network made after Trump announced his presidential candidacy in June and described Mexican immigrants in the U.S. illegally as “rapists” and drug runners. “And some, I assume, are good people,” he said then.
On Tuesday, Trump softened that language, saying he did not believe a majority of immigrants in the U.S. illegally are criminals. “Most of them are good people,” he said.
In recent cable television interviews, Ramos has called Trump’s immigration plan “personal.”
Univision has invited Trump to appear on the news channel, and extended that invitation again Tuesday. So far, Trump has declined.
Ramos is known for his tough questioning of politicians when it comes to immigration, including tense exchanges with President Barack Obama.