Police warn 'swift' action against anti-Trump protesters

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CA police prepare for unrest at Trump rally

Police in Anaheim, California, warned they would take "swift and decisive enforcement action" if protesters get out of hand at a Donald Trump rally on Wednesday, a day after a violence broke out at the Republican presidential candidate's campaign event in New Mexico.

SEE ALSO: Paul Ryan denies reports he's ready to endorse Donald Trump

Trump's appearances in the U.S. West in areas with significant Hispanic populations have drawn large protests - such as Tuesday's violence in Albuquerque, where rock-throwing demonstrators were arrested - because of his remarks that Mexico is sending criminals and rapists to the United States.

Trump's problems with Latino communities could dampen his Nov. 8 election hopes. A poll by the political research group Latino Decisions found 87 percent of registered Hispanic voters view Trump unfavorably and states like Nevada and New Mexico have growing Hispanic populations that could tip the election.

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Weekend anti-Trump protests in Arizona and New York City
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Police warn 'swift' action against anti-Trump protesters
TOPSHOT - People rally as they take part in a protest against Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump in New York on March 19,2016. / AFP / KENA BETANCUR (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 19: People take part in a protest against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, on March 19, 2016 in New York City. People protest against Trump's policies which threaten the Immigration system and many of the Latino, Black, LGBT, Muslim, and other communities. (Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - A woman holds a sign during a protest rally against Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump in New York on March 19,2016. / AFP / KENA BETANCUR (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 19: People clash with protesters while they take part in a march against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, on March 19, 2016 in New York City. People protest against Trump's policies which threaten the Immigration system and many of the Latino, Black, LGBT, Muslim, and other communities. (Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally Saturday, March 19, 2016, in Fountain Hills, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)
Protesters stand in the crowd of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump supporters as Trump speaks during a campaign rally, Saturday, March 19, 2016, in Fountain Hills, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)
PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 19: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to guest gathered at Fountain Park during a campaign rally on March 19, 2016 in Fountain Hills, Arizona. Trump visits Arizona for the second time in three months as he looks to gain the GOP nomination for President. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
FOUNTAIN HILLS, AZ - MARCH 19: Protesters filter into the crowd of Trump supporters during a campaign rally at Fountain Park on March 19, 2016 in Fountain Hills, Arizona. Trumps visit to Arizona is the second time in three months as he looks to gain the GOP nomination for President. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
FOUNTAIN HILLS, AZ - MARCH 19: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to guest gathered at Fountain Park during a campaign rally on March 19, 2016 in Fountain Hills, Arizona. Trumps visit to Arizona is the second time in three months as he looks to gain the GOP nomination for President. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 19: Protesters filter into the crowd of Trump supporters during a campaign rally at Fountain Park on March 19, 2016 in Fountain Hills, Arizona. Trumps visit to Arizona is the second time in three months as he looks to gain the GOP nomination for President. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
FOUNTAIN HILLS, AZ - MARCH 19: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to guest gathered at Fountain Park during a campaign rally on March 19, 2016 in Fountain Hills, Arizona. Trump visits Arizona for the second time in three months as he looks to gain the GOP nomination for President. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
A supporter for Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., gives the thumbs down sign to a fellow Sanders' supporter wearing a Donald Trump mask during a campaign rally, Saturday, March 19, 2016 in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso)
A contingent of Black Lives Matter protesters try to shout down Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump as he speaks during a campaign rally Saturday, March 19, 2016, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
A woman holds a sign during a protest rally against Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump in New York on March 19,2016. / AFP / KENA BETANCUR (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)
People rally as they take part in a protest against Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump in New York on March 19,2016. / AFP / KENA BETANCUR (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 19: A NYPD officer tries to keep an eye on protesters while they take part in a protest against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, on March 19, 2016 in New York City. People protest against Trump's policies which threaten the Immigration system and many of the Latino, Black, LGBT, Muslim, and other communities. (Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 19: People march while they take part in a protest against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, on March 19, 2016 in New York City. People protest against Trump's policies which threaten the Immigration system and many of the Latino, Black, LGBT, Muslim, and other communities. (Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)
A man is taken into custody during an anti Donald Trump protest, Saturday, March 19, 2016, in New York. Several hundred demonstrators gathered in New York City to protest Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
New York Police officers(NYPD) walk among a protest rally against Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump in New York on March 19, 2016. / AFP / KENA BETANCUR (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 19: People take part in a protest against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, on March 19, 2016 in New York City. People protest against Trump's policies which threaten the Immigration system and many of the Latino, Black, LGBT, Muslim, and other communities. (Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 19: A man falls down as NYPD officers try to arrest protesters while they take part in demonstrations against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, on March 19, 2016 in New York City. People protest against Trump's policies which threaten the Immigration system and many of the Latino, Black, LGBT, Muslim, and other communities. (Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 19: People march while they take part in a protest against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, on March 19, 2016 in New York City. People protest against Trump's policies which threaten the Immigration system and many of the Latino, Black, LGBT, Muslim, and other communities. (Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 19: NYPD officers arrest a protester while they take part in a demonstrations against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, on March 19, 2016 in New York City. People protest against Trump's policies which threaten the Immigration system and many of the Latino, Black, LGBT, Muslim, and other communities. (Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 19: People take part in a protest against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, on March 19, 2016 in New York City. People protest against Trump's policies which threaten the Immigration system and many of the Latino, Black, LGBT, Muslim, and other communities. (Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)
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Mike McGetrick, one of two people carrying "Latinos for Trump" signs at the Anaheim rally, said he is part of a group called America First Latinos. He said his neighborhood in nearby Orange is "being overrun" by undocumented immigrants.

"There are so many of them, and they're everywhere," said McGetrick, 62, a retired city worker. "I can tell an illegal from a regular person just like that."

Supporters of the presumptive Republican nominee have been hopeful that his likely opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton, will be dogged by her own problems to offset his difficulty with some populations. On Wednesday, Clinton faced renewed criticism about her use of a private email server after an inspector general report cited her for violating agency policies.

California and New Mexico both hold primary elections on June 7 and on Tuesday night, hundreds of protesters tried to swarm the convention center in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where Trump spoke, knocking down barricades, waving Mexican flags and hurling rocks and bottles at police officers in riot gear. Police responded with smoke bombs and pepper spray.

Police said they made arrests both outside and inside the rally, where protesters continually interrupted the billionaire New York developer's speech. The police department's Twitter feed said officers were treated for injuries caused by thrown rocks.

"CRIMINALS!"

In a Twitter post on Wednesday, Trump called the protesters "thugs who were flying the Mexican flag."

"The rally inside was big and beautiful, but outside, criminals!" he said.

Trump is scheduled to speak at 3 p.m. EDT in Anaheim, a city about 25 miles (40 km) from Los Angeles. At the city's 7,500-seat convention center, authorities boosted staffing levels, deployed officers on motorcycles to control traffic and urged attendees to be on their best behavior, Anaheim Police Sergeant Daron Wyatt said.

"We respect the rights of everyone to protest and get their word out," Wyatt said, adding they must do so "peacefully and within the confines of the law."

Anaheim Police Chief Raul Quezada said, "Everyone has the right to participate without fear of violence or disorder and we are prepared to take swift and decisive enforcement action should it become necessary."

Previous Trump appearances in the area have been marked by disruptions. Seventeen people were arrested last month at a Trump rally in Costa Mesa, about 20 miles (32 km) south of Anaheim, media reports said, after protesters blocked traffic and threw rocks and debris at motorists and police.

Despite Trump securing the Republican nomination and beginning to build a consensus within his party, his trip west also has revealed the continued divisions within his own party.

While speaking in New Mexico, he criticized the state's Republican governor, Susana Martinez, by saying, "She's not doing her job."

Martinez has not endorsed Trump and has said she will continue to press him on how he will help her state.

"The potshots weren't about policy, they were about politics," Martinez's office said in a statement in response to Trump. "... Governor Martinez doesn't care about what Donald Trump says about her – she cares about what he says he will do to help New Mexicans. She's disappointed that she didn't hear anything about that last night."

(Reporting by Megan Cassella, Suzannah Gonzales, Emily Stephenson and Steve Gorman; Writing by Ginger Gibson; Editing by Bill Trott)

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