Donald Trump tried his hand at a Hispanic accent yesterday as he pledged his support to Puerto Ricans who are struggling in the wake of a pair of hurricanes.

During a Hispanic Heritage Month event at the White House, he said that he is "praying for the people of Puerto Rico."

He pronounced it "Pueeerto Reeco."

"We love Pueeerto Reeco!" Trump said again, to good-natured laughter inside the East Room. "Pueeeeeerto Rico!"


"And we also love "Porto Rico"," he joked, quickly returning to his New York inflection, reports Daily Mail.

Trump spent Tuesday on the island, a U.S. Caribbean territory, speaking to relief coordinators and some residents whose homes and lives were turned upside down.

"We now have more than 15,000 federal personnel on the island," Trump boasted. "We will not rest until that job is done."

"Puerto Rico has a long road of recovery ahead. Very long road. But we know that its people are proud, and they are resilient, and they will come back strong."

Trump also seemed to send a subtle signal to young people in the front row about his support for a long-term immigration solution for people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

Colloquially known as "DREAMers," the hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants have been protected by the Obama-era 'Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals' program, which insulates them for deportation under most circumstances.

"There is no task too large, and no dream beyond your reach," he told the youth group, many of whom performed before Trump arrived.

"No dream," he repeated, emphasising the word "dream."

"There's no dream beyond your reach. ... I'm talking to some very young people up front," Trump continued.

The president officially ended the DACA program last month but deferred the effect of his order for six months in the hope that Congress would formalise it in law.

His administration reportedly wants to combine that legislative action with border security funding.

That, the White House hopes, will include more than $1 billion for partial construction of a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.