Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump held a press conference Friday night featuring the families of individuals who were killed by illegal immigrants.

Trump met with the families in private earlier in the day before holding the press conference.

"People came into the country illegally and killed their children," Trump said about the families who joined him at the presser. "And it's a very, very sad thing what's happening with our country ... nobody wants to talk about it."

"When ever somebody hears that it was an illegal that was involved with the death of their children, it becomes politically incorrect for a politician to help them. That's how messed up our nation is," he said.

Trump reiterated that he stands by his comments on immigration, saying that Mexico is deliberately sending less than its best into the United States. "I have great respect for the country of Mexico. The problem is the country of Mexico has leaders that are far smarter than our leaders ... they're sending people into our country that we don't want but we take, and they don't want."

He accused the media of being "dishonest" in its coverage of him and his comments. "The problem is you'll cut the statement in half ... you'll cut it and leave out what I said," he said. "The press in many cases is very, very dishonest."

"We'd better get smart in the United States," said Trump. "We're housing people from all over the world other countries don't want. They're sending criminals to us, and we're putting those criminals in jail, oftentimes after they've killed somebody or hurt somebody ... why should we pay for somebody in jail for 25, 30, or 40 years...?"

Trump then handed the microphone over to family members of those slain by illegal immigrants so they could share their personal stories.

Dan Rosenberg told a story of his 25-year-old son who was killed biking home from law school one night when an illegal immigrant ran over him while driving.

"Every year, just driving, they kill about 3,000 people, which of course, never makes it in the press anywhere. Most newspapers now don't even give the license or immigration status when they kill somebody," Rosenberg said, adding, "This is a huge problem all over and as Mr. Trump said, nobody wants to hear from us."

Trump has been under fire for his comments about immigration as of late. On June 16, he said: "When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're not sending you. They're not sending you. They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."

He continues to stand by his comments despite the controversy and lost business deals they've caused him. Amid the heat, he has risen in numerous national polls of 2016 Republican presidential candidates.

On Saturday, Trump is scheduled to campaign in both Nevada and Arizona.