LATINO VOICES

Donald Trump Uses 'Saturday Night Live' Sketch As Evidence His Border Wall Idea Would Work

The Mexican government disagrees.
GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump says the Mexican government would pay for a border wall. 
GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump says the Mexican government would pay for a border wall. 

Pay no attention to what actual officials have said. 

Donald Trump has promised he'd be able to convince the Mexican government to spend billions of dollars on a border fence between the U.S. and Mexico. He insisted Wednesday this is possible -- and used a fictional skit on "Saturday Night Live" to support his argument.

"They did that little skit on 'SNL' ... Did you see that?" he asked on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," referring to his Saturday hosting gig on the NBC show.

"The president of Mexico walks in and I have a check -- he gave me a $20 billion check even though it's going to cost $7 [billion]," Trump said the morning after the GOP presidential debate. "I said, 'It's too much, Enrique, it's too much. No, no, no.'"

Host Joe Scarborough pressed him to explain how exactly he would convince Mexico to pay for the wall.

"It's very easy," Trump said, because there is a trade imbalance and the U.S. gives "billions of dollars to Mexico."

Trump's only evidence that Mexico is open to his plan appears to be that "SNL" sketch, which was based on a fictional future in which all of Trump's promises have come true.

In reality, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto's administration has said it isn't going to pay for a border wall.

"Of course it's false," Eduardo Sanchez, a Peña Nieto spokesman, told Bloomberg in August. "It reflects an enormous ignorance for what Mexico represents, and also the irresponsibility of the candidate who's saying it."

Trump has been consistently unwilling to give specifics on how his immigration plan -- which includes mass deportation along with the border wall -- would actually work. Fellow GOP candidates Ohio Gov. John Kasich and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush criticized him on that point during Tuesday night's debate.

Trump insisted Wednesday that mass deportation would be "very inexpensive" and that he could do it if he put the right people in charge, something most experts are skeptical of. Trump's plan would cost at least $166 billion, according to analysis from Politico that used experts from the right and left.

The main evidence he's given that he could actually deport all undocumented immigrants was the 1950s program "Operation Wetback," which ended up deporting U.S. citizens as well.

Again, Scarborough asked him how the deportation plan would function.

"You do it, you do it," Trump said.

"You're going to have a deportation force, and you're going to do it humanely," he added.

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