LAS VEGAS — President Trump pressed his tough immigration stance at a Nevada political convention Saturday, telling hundreds “we have to be very strong” to keep people, including violent gang members, from entering the country illegally.

Trump was in Las Vegas to boost the candidacy of Dean Heller, the only Republican U.S. senator seeking re-election in a state that Democrat Hillary Clinton won in 2016. Trump and Heller have papered over their once prickly relationship to present a united front in their shared goal of helping Republicans maintain, if not expand, their thin 51-49 majority in the Senate.

In remarks to several hundred people attending the Nevada GOP Convention, Trump portrayed himself as tough against illegal immigration, saying at one point, “I think I got elected largely because we are strong on the border.”

Trump sharply criticized Heller’s Democratic opponent, Rep. Jacky Rosen, and tagged her with one of the derisive nicknames he’s fond of giving his opponents: “Wacky Jacky.”

“Wacky Jacky is campaigning with Pocahontas. Do you believe this?” Trump said, resurrecting his nickname for Democratic U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a vocal Trump critic.

Heller had renounced Trump during the campaign as someone who “denigrates human beings.” Heller said he wouldn’t vote for Trump, but later said he did. Heller also received a $2,000 donation from Trump in 2015 but gave it to charity.