Thousands gather at Phoenix Convention Center for Donald Trump rally

Trump continued with his immigration rhetoric in his speech on Saturday

Thousands of people stood in line outside the Phoenix Convention Center on Saturday waiting to hear GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump speak about illegal immigration in his largest campaign event yet. 

Trump has been the center of controversy following his announcement speech where he called Mexican immigrants murderers and rapists

Phoenix resident Diana Brest arrived at the the Phoenix Convention Center at 4:45 a.m. to be sure that she had a space to see Trump. She said she was disappointed when he didn't run for the previous presidential campaign. She explained that she understood why he speaks so forward but he doesn't beat around the bush. 

"If you believe in something, why do you have to change what you believe in?" Brest said. "Everyone is saying we are going to get rid of ISIS and we are going to take care of the borders. It hasn't happened. The borders are open and everyone is coming in. We need someone who is going to take care of America."

Many more were turned away because the event had reached capacity.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio opened the rally by thanking Trump for bringing illegal immigration back to light. He said that others mention it but they do not drive it to the point that Trump has during his campaign. 

Trump also talked about ISIS during his speech. He criticized Barack Obama, calling him weak and ineffective. 

Trump asked the crowd who they would rather have negotiating international deals, Clinton, Bush or himself. The crowd then began to chant "Trump!"

But Trump has also received criticism from members of his own party. Arizona Senator John McCain has politically distanced himself from Trump after his comments on undocumented Mexican immigrants. 

"I just think that it is offensive to not only Hispanic citizenry, but other citizenry, but he's entitled to say what he wants to say," McCain said in an Arizona Republic article.

A group of 20 protestors made their entrance into the convention center with the goal of disrupting Trump's speech. One member, Belen Sisa, said they were outside for a while but when they saw a chance to get into the convention center, they took it. They held up a banner that said in bold letters "Stop Hate."

"Our message, the rally outside and inside, was to get a strong message that these types of racist comments against our community are not going to be tolerated from him, Donald Trump, or any presidential candidate," Sisa said. "We are going to keep having our voices heard. We can't be ignored."

As the group was escorted out of the convention center, Trump said "I wonder if the Mexican Government sent them."

Trump proposed that the Mexican government should give the United States $100,000 per person that illegally enters the country. 

"We charge Mexico for every person and it was start to stunt," Trump said. "We have to do something to take back our country."

Two speakers, Mary Ann Mendoza and Jamiel Shaw, spoke to the crowd about the deaths of their children by the hands of illegal immigrants. Both were emotionally engaged to end illegal immigration.

Throughout the speech, Trump made some positive comments about people from Mexico. He said that illegal immigrants are what he has a problem with and that legal immigrants are good people, his wife being one of them. 

Trump did not talk about education during his speech, which was a complaint expressed by some members of the audience. He did propose that Obamacare be completely erased.

Trump did make it a point to recognize veterans. He supports and wants to make sure that they are taken care of if he is president. 

"We have to take care of our veterans," Trump said. "Our veterans are treated like they are third class citizens."

Reach the reporter at ryan.santistevan@asu.edu or follow @ryanerica18 on Twitter.

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