Republican presidential contender Donald Trump continued to emphasize illegal immigration and border security Saturday, telling thousands of supporters in Phoenix that he would keep the United States secure and dominant in the global economy.
"Don't worry, we'll take our country back," he said.
The crowd chanted "USA! USA!" as Trump hammered President Obama and other "incompetent politicians."
"We have to stop illegal immigration. We have to. We have a situation that's absolutely out of control," he said.
Earlier Saturday, in Las Vegas, Trump told an audience that while he "loves" Mexico and China, both pose a threat to the U.S.
"You can't be great if you don't have a border, no matter what you do," Trump said at the annual FreedomFest conference, a conservative festival that bills itself as the "world's largest gathering of free minds."
"And you can't be great if China is taking all your jobs," he added.
Trump, who has been under fire for his controversial comments on immigration, was greeted with roars of applause, both in Las Vegas and then at a Phoenix rally that was moved to a convention center because of what organizers called better than expected demand.
The Trump campaign later claimed 15,000 people attended the rally in Phoenix. Shortly before the speech, a Trump aide estimated the crowd at 5,000. There were lines wrapped around the venue before the speech began.
Earlier in the day, Trump assured the Las Vegas audience that he loves China — "How can you not love China when they pay me?" the real estate mogul mused — and that he loves "the spirit" of Mexican people.
But, he added, "They kill us at the border. People flow through at the border, and they send people through that they don't want."
On Friday, after meeting with families of victims killed by undocumented immigrants, Trump said, "People came into the country illegally and killed their children. And it's a very, very, sad thing what's happening with our country."
Trump has been particularly vocal about the July 1 killing of a woman in San Francisco, allegedly by an undocumented immigrant who had been deported five times. Trump has called the fatal shooting of Kate Steinle, 32, "Yet another example of why we must secure our border immediately."
On Saturday, he declared that "Kate would be alive today" if the border had been more secure.
He also lambasted America's "stupid leaders" and said they have allowed dangerous, undocumented immigrants into the country.
"I love people that come in legally. They have to come in legally," he added.
During a question-and-answer session in Las Vegas, a man who said he was from Mexico said that he was "incredibly insulted" by the remarks on immigration from Mexico made by Trump, who hosted the reality show "The Apprentice."
"Señor Trump, you're fired," he told the billionaire.
Trump's contentious statements on illegal immigration have cost the blustery businessman: Several companies, including NBCUniversal, Univision and Macy's, have cut ties with him. He has also been criticized by both sides of the political spectrum.
He vowed on Saturday to bring jobs to the United States if he's elected president.
"Make America great again," he said.