On the evening of August 25, Univision television anchor Jorge Ramos was ejected from a press conference offered by Republican frontrunner Donald Trump in Dubuque, Iowa. When Trump recognized another reporter, Ramos interjected with questions for Trump, who has been outspoken in his demands for increased border security, as well as criticized for previous statements deemed offensive to Hispanics. Ramos, who was born in Mexico, has two popular programs on the U.S.-based Spanish-language Univision network, and is one of the best-known reporters in the Spanish-speaking world.
Of his ejection from the presser, Ramos told Univision “Nowhere in the world have I ever been ejected from a press conference or an interview by force, never. This is the first time.” He claimed that he had been denied the opportunity to interview Trump. In the exchange between Trump and Ramos, the Univision reporter started asking a question about immigration before being recognized by Trump. When Trump asked, “Who’s next?” Ramos interrupted again, saying “Mr. Trump, I have a question…I have the right to ask a question.” Trump told Ramos that he had not been recognized, and asked him to sit down. When Ramos insisted, Trump turned to another reporter. Finally, a security officer escorted Ramos out of the room as the reporter refused, saying “Don’t touch me, don’t touch me.” As Ramos was leaving, Trump said “Go back to Univision.”
Trump then answered questions from other reporters in the room about the exchange with Ramos. The candidate, who had been in Iowa to pick up a key endorsement, explained that it was security’s decision to remove Ramos and that he had no objection to seeing Ramos return.
Later on, when Ramos returned, another exchange between Trump and Ramos occurred. Ramos asked Trump about birthright citizenship. Trump said, “Well, a lot of people think -- no, no, excuse me. a lot of people, no, no, but a lot of people think that's not right, that an act of congress can do it. But it's possibly going to have to be tested in courts…A lot of people think that if you come and you're on the other side of the border -- I'm not talking about Mexicans. Somebody on the other side of the border. A woman is getting ready to have a baby, she crosses the border for one day, has the baby, all of a sudden for the next 80 years, hopefully longer, but for the next 80 years we have to take care of the people.”
Ramos interrupted, and Trump answered, “Excuse me, some of the greatest legal scholars -- and I know some of the television scholars agree with you, but some of the great legal scholars agree that that's not true. That if you come across -- excuse me, just one second.”
“No, I am answering. If you come across for one day and you have a baby, now the baby is going to be an American citizen. There are great -- excuse me. There are great legal scholars, the top, that say that's absolutely wrong. It's going to be tested. Okay?”
In answer to Ramos’s question about Trump’s promise to build a 1,900-mile long barrier between the United States and Mexico, Trump said “Very easy. I'm a builder. That's easy. I build buildings that are 94.” Trump was interrupted again by the Mexican reporter, and said, “Can I tell you what's more complicated? What's more complicated is building a building that's 95 stories tall.”
Trump also promised to address criminal gang violence, when asked by Ramos to speak on the issue of deporting illegal aliens. “The one thing we're going to start with immediately are the gangs, and the real bad up ones. And you do agree there are some bad ones. Do you agree or do you think everyone is just perfect? No. I asked you a question. Do you agree with that? We have tremendous crime, we have tremendous problems -- I can't deal with this….They're getting out. You mind if I send them out? Now, if they come from Mexico, do you mind if I send them back to Mexico. No, no, do you mind if I send them back to Mexico? Okay. Those people are out. They'll be out so fast your head will spin.”
On the Univision website, Trump was identified as a "xenophobe." Trump is currently embroiled in a lawsuit against Univision over the network's refusal to air the Miss Universe beauty pageant. As of July 2015, Trump had a 49 percent stake in the franchise.