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Trump Renews Vow To Crack Down On Illegal Immigration, Muslim Visitors

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto (right) met with U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump before Trump spoke on immigration.

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, after weeks of hinting that he might soften his controversial anti-immigration agenda, instead hardened his resolve to keep foreigners out of the United States.

In a much-anticipated speech on August 31, Trump said he would set up a "deportation task force" to send those who entered illegally back to their home countries and would refuse to issue visas to people from countries like Syria and Libya -- both Muslim and battling the Islamic State extremist group -- whose shaky governments, he said, are unable to conduct thorough background checks.

"Our message to the world will be this: You cannot obtain legal status or become a citizen of the United States by illegally entering our country," he said. "You can't just smuggle in, hunker down, and wait to be legalized. Those days are over."

Trump also renewed his vow to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border and force Mexico to pay for it -- on the same day that Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said he told Trump during a brief visit to Mexico City that Mexico would never finance such a project.

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, AFP, and dpa