WASHINGTON, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Donald Trump said Thursday that his government is using "military operations" to get "really bad dudes out of this country."

"You see what's happening at the border. All of a sudden for the first time, we're getting gang members out. We're getting drug lords out. We're getting really bad dudes out of this country, and at a rate that nobody's ever seen before," Trump said at a gathering of business leaders.

"And it's a military operation, because what has been allowed to come into our country, when you see gang violence that you've read about like never before, and all of the things -- much of that is people that are here illegally," he said.

White House sources later confirmed that Trump did not misspeake, saying "the president was clearly describing the orderly and professional manner in which his executive orders are being implemented." ' The latest remarks against illegal immigrants came as the Trump administration is designing new plans to raise the threshold for immigrants to enter the country after a previous executive order signed in late January was slapped with a restraining order from a federal court.

Illegal immigrants have become a heatedly debated issue in the United States, with many blaming the group of taking jobs from U.S. citizens and undercutting social security while others laud immigrants for contributing to the U.S. economy.