Donald Trump promises change, border reform at Fountain Hills rally

Thousands of supporters brushed shoulders on Saturday to catch a glimpse of GOP presidential front-runner, Donald Trump at his Fountain Hills rally. Applause reached near-deafening levels when Trump, sporting his signature "Make America Great Again" hat, asked for their vote.

The crowd rallied around his call to fundamentally change the policies set in place by President Barack Obama's administration.

"We're going to make change, but it's not going to be Obama change," Trump said. "This is going to be real change."

The candidate spoke about building a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico, as well as revitalizing the military, doing away with Common Core and repealing the Affordable Care Act — commonly known as Obamacare.

Related: Donald Trump protestors, supporters face off outside Fountain Hills rally

"We don't want our children educated by bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.," he said.

Trump stood in support of the crowd as much as they stood in support of him. Several times throughout the rally, he mentioned how he loves seeing large crowds at his rallies. 

"We have a silent majority that's no longer silent," Trump said at the rally. "It's the loud, noisy majority."

Before Trump delivered his address, several speakers addressed the audience, including Mary Ann Mendoza, the mother of the late Sgt. Brandon Mendoza.

Sgt. Mendoza was killed in a head-on collision with a car driven by an illegal immigrant, she said. 

The man who ran into him was intoxicated three times past the legal limit, high on methamphetamine and driving on the wrong side of the road, she said. 

As Mendoza finished describing the man, a rally-goer yelled out, "Deport him!"

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a consistent supporter of Trump and his policies, took the stage immediately before Trump, and continued the call to put an end to illegal immigration. Arpaio also called for Mexico's government to pay for the border wall.

"I'll tell you what, if they don't pay for that wall, we'll take away their foreign aid and then they'll pay," Arpaio said. 

Supporters at the rally said Trump's stance on illegal immigration was one of his largest selling points as a candidate.

Joan Rodgers, a Trump supporter and Arizona resident since 1989, said she wants Trump to enact strict immigration policies if elected president.

"I hope he closes the border," she said. "Living here in Arizona, it's really become a big problem for us."

Another supporter, Valerie Roller, said she thinks Trump is the best-suited for the job of president because of his love for the country. 

"He loves the country, I love the country, so we have a lot ... in common," Roller said.

Trump promised his supporters that he will make the country great again if they cast their vote for him.

"We will be proud of our country again," he said. 

As the applause waxed and waned throughout Trump's speech, he vowed one last national improvement to his supporters. 

"Nobody — and I mean nobody — is going to mess with us anymore," he said.


Reach the reporter at jwbowlin@asu.edu or follow @mrjoshuabowling on Twitter.

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