The confrontation between Donald Trump and the US Latino community reached a new high on Tuesday after the Republican front-runner in the presidential race ejected leading Univision journalist Jorge Ramos from a news conference in Dubuque, Iowa.
“Sit down. You haven’t been called. Go back to Univision,” the real estate magnate told Ramos, a popular news anchor for the Spanish-language television network.
A Mexican-American and one of the most outspoken critics of Trump’s position on immigration issues, Ramos had stood up from his seat in the front row and stated that he had a question for the billionaire businessman-turned-politician.
He stood up and started screaming. He is obviously a very emotional person”
Donald Trump on Univision journalist Jorge Ramos
A member of Trump’s security team soon escorted Ramos out of the room, where there were around 3,000 people in attendance.
Asked by other journalists about his refusal to take Ramos’s questions, the man who is heading the list of 17 candidates seeking the Republican nomination said that Ramos was speaking without being called on.
“He stood up and started screaming. He is obviously a very emotional person,” said Trump.
The incident was recorded by television cameras and quickly made headline news at all the main networks. Perhaps because of that, Trump reconsidered and his team soon allowed Ramos back into the room.
Almost immediately after, the Republican politician and the Univision journalist engaged in a long wrangle over the former’s plans to deport the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants from the country and deny birthright citizenship to babies born on US soil to illegal aliens. Ramos also asked about the 1,900-mile wall that Trump wants to build along the border with Mexico, a plan he described as unrealistic and useless.
“It’s very easy. I’m a builder ... What’s more complicated is building a building that’s 95 stories tall,” said Trump, who insisted that Mexicans who cross the border into the US are mostly criminals.
When Ramos asked him how he would carry out his plan to deport 11 million people, Trump retorted that he would do so “very humanely,” without specifying anything more. “I have a bigger heart than you.”
Jorge Ramos, a major figure in US journalism, later expressed concern at the way he was ejected from the event. “The same way he took me out of a news conference, he would like to take 11 million undocumented people out of the US,” he said.
English version by Susana Urra