DALLAS, TX. — From his first moments as a candidate, Donald Trump has been forceful about his plans for illegal immigration.
So it's no surprise those plans, and controversial tone, were front and center on Monday night in Dallas at American Airlines Arena in front of more than 15,000 people.
Trump hit the major points of his immigration plan — slamming sanctuary cities and pressing his reasoning that illegal immigration must be stopped.
"We have to stop illegal immigration. We have to do it," he told a Dallas crowd that instantly erupted into cheers and chanted "U-S-A!"
“We are a dumping ground for the rest of the world," Trump added.
On sanctuary cities — municipalities where the local authorities don't turn undocumented immigrants over to federal officials — Trump cited the story of Kate Steinle, from San Francisco, who was killed this past summer by a Mexican man who by all accounts should have been deported.
"We have to end this sanctuary-cities cr-p fast," Trump said.
While Trump railed against illegal immigration inside the arena, protesters gathered outside for a "Dump Trump" rally protesting what they see as his hateful rhetoric.
In the aftermath of the protest, heated clashes ensued as young protesters and Trump rally attendees yelled back and forth at each other.
The real estate mogul also joked about his now-famous feud with Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly. During a riff about victories in a Trump administration, he reiterated a point previously made at a rally in Washington, D.C., when he said, "We're gonna have so many victories and at some point it’s gonna be coming out of your ears!”
He then reminded himself: "Be careful! Nose, ears, eyes, those are the only places I’m talking about."
Never one to miss a chance to tout positive poll numbers, Trump said, "We’re really killing it. We are kiiilllling it."
Though he did complain that media outlets don’t cover his poll surges in the same way they cover his GOP opponents. "What about me?" he asked the crowd.
"Where’s my name? I’m at 40 percent!"
It's unclear where he got that number, however. A new ABC News/Washington Post poll shows Trump atop the GOP field with 33 percent followed by Ben Carson with 20 percent.
Before the event, one couple in attendance told NBC News that "Washington has been bought and sold for too long" and that the serious problems plaguing this country weren’t being solved by those elected to solve them. Trump, they feel, will do what he says he’ll do. Inside the arena and after the event, others echoed that sentiment, praising Trump’s bluntness and his immigration plans.
"We need this man in office," Brenda White, a Fort Worth resident, told NBC News. "I truly believe he’s the only person that can save this country."