LOS ANGELES, June 29 (UPI) -- Donald Trump is now learning what it's like to be fired after NBCUniversal on Monday announced it's severing business ties with the Republican presidential candidate over comments he made on immigration.
"At NBC, respect and dignity for all people are cornerstones of our values," NBCUniversal said in a statement. "Due to the recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, NBCUniversal is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump."
The decision came after a Change.org petition called for the network not to air the Miss USA pageant over comments Trump made about illegal immigration during his presidential announcement speech June 16.
"When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending the best ... they're sending people that have lots of problems and they're bringing those problems. They're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime. They're rapists and some, I assume, are good people, but I speak to border guards and they're telling us what we're getting," Trump, 69, said.
Many Mexicans and Mexican-Americans did not agree with Trump's remarks.
The National Association of Hispanic Journalists called on NBC to gain full rights to Miss USA and to prevent Trump from appearing on Celebrity Appearance so he wouldn't receive more coverage than other presidential candidates.
"As journalists, we stand behind free speech and the right to criticize," the organization said in a statement. "But with those rights come responsibility to the truth; responsibility to respect; and responsibility to be fair."
NBCUniversal joined Univision by declining to air the pageant.
Trump told reporters Monday he's "had a great relationship" with NBC but they didn't want him to run for president because they wanted him to appear on Celebrity Apprentice.
"Now with my statements on immigration -- which happen to be correct -- they are gonna take a different stance and that's OK," Trump said.
"You have to stop illegal immigration," he added. "If we don't have strong borders you don't have a country anymore, so I told NBC I can't change my stance.