By JAKE PEARSON
NEW YORK (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump took a break Monday from courting voters to go to court as a potential juror.
Trump shook hands and fist-bumped bystanders as he reported for jury duty at a Manhattan court. After arriving in a limousine, he walked up the courthouse steps and waited in a security line.
His appearance came a day after his campaign website posted his immigration platform, which includes mandatory deportation of all “criminal aliens,” tripling the force of immigration officers by eliminating tax credit payments to immigrant families residing illegally in the U.S., and making Mexico pay for a permanent border wall.
“The wall will work,” he declared Monday when a passer-by at the courthouse asked about that idea.
The GOP front-runner said last week he was “looking forward to appearing” for jury duty. The real estate mogul and reality TV star has been called previously but didn’t appear; a spokesman has said Trump never got the summonses because they had been sent to the wrong address.
Over the years, many celebrities have been called for jury duty in New York City. They include Madonna, Spike Lee, and Woody Allen. Former mayors Michael Bloomberg and Rudolph Giuliani both were called while in office; Giuliani actually served as foreman on a civil personal-injury case. Former President Bill Clinton was seriously considered, though he didn’t actually have to appear, for an attempted murder case in Manhattan federal court in 2003.
Trump said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet The Press” that he would push to end the constitutionally protected citizenship rights of children of any family living illegally inside the U.S.
He said families with U.S.-born children could return quickly if deemed worthy by the government: “The good people can come back.”
Trump did not elaborate on how he would define “good people.” But echoing earlier remarks that Mexico was sending criminals across the border, Trump said a tough deportation policy was needed because “there’s definitely evidence” of crimes linked to immigrants living in the country illegally.
Trump also said he would waste little time rescinding President Barack Obama’s executive actions aimed at allowing as many as 3.7 million immigrants living illegally in the U.S. to remain in the country because of their U.S.-born relatives. Obama’s November 2014 actions were halted by temporary injunctions ordered by several federal courts in rulings challenging his executive powers to alter immigration policies without Congressional approval. The cases could head to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Associated Press writer Lejla Sarcevic also contributed to this report.