Trump: US does not listen to other countries on immigration

President TrumpDonald John TrumpREAD: Transcript of James Comey's interview with House Republicans Klobuchar on 2020: ‘I do think you want voices from the Midwest’ Israel boycott fight roils Democrats in year-end spending debate MORE bucked foreign criticism of his immigration policy on Friday, saying the U.S. does not listen to other countries on the subject.

"We don’t listen to other countries telling us how we should be running our immigration," the president said during a rally in Pensacola, Fla.

The president went on to tout border security under his administration.


"We want the strongest borders you've ever seen. We're gonna have such borders. We'll have borders on top of borders," he said to applause.

"One by one we are finding the illegal alien drug dealers, the gang members, the thieves, the criminals and the killers preying on our children, preying on everybody, and we are throwing them the hell out of our country or we are putting them in prison," he continued.

Trump went on to list a series of policy goals regarding immigration, including the House legislation named for Kate Steinle, who authorities said was killed in San Francisco in 2015 by an immigrant in the country illegally. He spoke for several minutes about what he called the injustice of the "not guilty" verdict of the man charged in her death.

"It's time for Congress to adopt a pro-American immigration agenda. Every member of Congress should be asked where they stand on these issues. Blocking funds to sanctuary cities. I don't want to give sanctuary cities money. Passing Kate's law to put repeat offenders behind bars for a long period of time," the president said.

"Increasing the number of [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] officers, who are fantastic, and border patrol officers so we can dismantle vile criminal gangs like, as I said, MS-13, animals," he continued.

"Ensuring that new immigrants to our country are financially self-sufficient and will not be on welfare the day they come in. And as I said, ending chain migration. We want a system that is merit-based. They come in on merit. They don't come in a lottery system," he said. 

Building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border proved to be one of Trump's cornerstone campaign promises, and has galvanized his supporters.

Critics have accused the administration's immigration policy of being isolationist and anti-immigration.

Updated at 9:11 p.m.