Francesca Chambers, Daily Mail, June 19, 2018
President Trump says he wants to cut off aid to Central American countries that he claimed Tuesday are ‘sending’ migrants to the U.S.
Trump said he’d be asking for authorization to end assistance to the region that includes Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.
‘We’re not going to give any more aid to those countries,’ he asserted during a Washington, D.C. speech to the National Federation of Independent Business. ‘Why the hell should we?’
He also said that he’d be championing legislation to make sure that families that are flooding the border from those countries are not being separated as he lit into lawyers for migrants and judges he claimed are abusing the system.
‘We want a great country. We want a country with heart,’ Trump said. ‘But when people come up, they have to know they’re not going to get in. Otherwise it will never stop.’
The president said he hates that children are being separated from their legal guardians — even though it’s a policy that was implemented by his administration.
‘We can’t let people pour in. They’ve gotta go through the process,’ he stated. ‘And maybe it’s politically correct or maybe it’s not — we’ve gotta stop separation of the families.’
Standing his ground, Trump said, ‘But politically correct or not, we have to be a country that needs security, that needs safety, that has to be protected.’
‘And remember, these countries that we give tremendous foreign aid to in many cases, they send these people up, and they’re not sending their finest,’ he claimed. ‘Does that sound familiar. Remember, I made that speech and I was badly criticized…. Turned out I was 100 percent right. That’s why I got elected.’
Trump was referring to his candidacy announcement, a speech in which he referred to illegal immigrants as rapists and criminals.
Revisiting the charge on Tuesday, Trump said that many immigrants who come to the U.S. illegally will never appear at their court dates. ‘If they’re good that’s great, and if they’re bad, you’ll have killings, you’ll have murders, you’ll have this you’ll this, you’ll have that, you’ll have crime.’
The president rejected Democratic demands that the country hire more judges to adjudicate the cases of legitimate asylum seekers faster as part of the solution.
‘I don’t want to try people. I don’t want people coming in,’ he asserted.
Trump said that once a migrant puts ‘one foot’ on U.S. soil then ‘it’s essentially welcome to America. Welcome to our country. You’ll never get ’em out.’
The other advantage migrants have: professional lawyers.
‘Some are for good. Others are do-gooders. And others are bad people, and they tell these people exactly what to say,’ he stated. ‘I am being harmed in my country. My country is extremely dangerous. I fear for my life. Say that, congratulations, you’ll never be removed.’
He added, ‘And they’re not all bad people…but in a way that’s cheating. Because they’re giving them statements. They’re not coming up for that reason. They’re coming up for many other reasons. And sometimes for that reason.’
Trump said the ease of entry has led to a 1,700 percent increase in asylum claims.
‘They game the system. They game it. It’s so easy for them. They’re smart. They didn’t go to the Wharton School of Finance,’ he said, name-checking his alma mater, ‘but you know what. They’re really smart.’
Trump defended his administration, saying that it is ‘as a result of Democratic-supported loopholes in our federal laws’ that most illegal immigrant families and minors coming to the U.S. from Central America ‘cannot be detained together or removed together, only released.’
‘These are crippling loopholes that cause family separation, which we don’t want,’ he said.
The so-called loopholes have led to roughly half a million family units and minors being released into the U.S. since 2014, he said.
Trump said it’s coming at ‘unbelievably great taxpayer expense and ‘nobody knows how much we’ve been paying for this monstrosity’
‘Legislation that nobody has idea what they’re doing. They don’t even know what it means,’ he added. ‘Child smugglers exploit the loopholes and they gain illegal entry into the Untied States, putting countless children in danger on the perilous trek to the Untied States.’
Trump blasted Mexico, saying the U.S. neighbor and ally ‘does nothing for us’ even though ‘they could solve it.’
‘Try staying in Mexico for a few days. See how long that lasts,’ he said in an aside. ‘They do nothing for us.’
Trump pounded Democrats for refusing to back his immigration agenda, which he said earlier in the day was allowing violent criminals ‘to pour into and infest our Country, like MS-13,’ a violent illegal immigrant gang.
‘They can’t win on their terrible policies, so they view them as potential voters!’
In back-to-back messages, the president ripped into the minority party and demanded that Congress pass legislation strengthening border security.
‘Now is the best opportunity ever for Congress to change the ridiculous and obsolete laws on immigration. Get it done, always keeping in mind that we must have strong border security.’
Trump also commented on the family separation controversy plaguing his administration.
‘We must always arrest people coming into our Country illegally. Of the 12,000 children, 10,000 are being sent by their parents on a very dangerous trip, and only 2000 are with their parents, many of whom have tried to enter our Country illegally on numerous occasions,’ the president tweeted.
The remark about crime-committing illegals immediately stoked controversy, with the president’s detractors saying the blanket description was not only wrong but inhumane.
Another incident earlier this year caused outrage when the president called gangster immigrants ‘animals’ in another statement his critics cast as incendiary.
Yesterday, President Trump said in unscripted remarks that he’s implementing strict immigration policies because he doesn’t want the United States to end up like Europe.
‘The United States will not be a migrant camp and it will not be a refugee holding facility. Won’t be,’ he charged in fiery remarks at a White House event.
‘You look at what’s happening in Europe. You look at what’s happening in other places. We can’t allow that to happen to the United States. Not on my watch.’
The president delved without warning into a heated argument over immigration that his administration has been waging with Democrats at a signing ceremony for his space policy initiative.
‘Immigration is the fault [of Democrats], and all of the problems that we’re having, ’cause we cannot get them to sign legislation. We cannot get them even to the negotiating table. And I say it’s very strongly the Democrats’ fault,’ he said at the East Room event. ‘They’re obstructionists, and they are obstructing.’
The president pinned the blame for family separation on the opposing party, which he said is refusing to work with Republicans in Congress to pass new rules to govern the nation’s immigration system.
‘If the Democrats would sit down, instead of obstructing, we could have something done very quickly — good for the children, good for the country good for the world,’ he asserted. ‘It could take place quickly. We could have an immigration bill. We could have child separation [ended].’
Instead, the president contended, ‘We’re stuck with these horrible laws. They’re horrible laws. What’s happening is so sad. Is so sad. And it can be taken care of quickly, beautifully, and we’ll have safety.’
Trump suggested the United States’ could bolster its credentials as leader of the free world by passing merit-based immigration laws that put a premium on high-skilled workers and lock down America’s porous borders
‘But just remember, a country without borders, is not a country at all,’ Trump said as justification. ‘We have to take care of our people. You take a look at the death and the destruction that’s been caused by people coming into this country without going through a process.’
The president conflated the diversity visa lottery that awards entry to vetted applicants at random with people who he said ‘snuck across’ the border to enter the country unlawfully.
‘They could be murderers and thieves and so much else,’ he asserted. ‘So we want a safe country, and it starts with the borders, and that’s the way it is.’
As the applause in the room died down, the president said, before returning to the topic at hand, that Democrats have but one choice to end the family separation: join Republicans in passing legislation that restructures the immigration system the way he’s demanding.
‘Everybody wants to do it. We want to do it more than they do,’ he said of immigration reform. [If they come to the table, instead of playing politics, we can do it very, very quickly.’
The White House spent most of Monday sparring with Democrats who have been accusing the Trump administration of exploiting migrant families.
Each side condemned the other for using children as ‘pawns’ in a raging illegal immigration debate.
President Trump said Monday, as he attempted to gain the upper hand, that children are ‘being used by some of the worst criminals on earth as a means to enter our country.’
Trump said in tweets that he’d also like to know where Democratic outrage is for American families who are being permanently separated by murderous, illegal immigrant gangsters.
‘Why don’t the Democrats give us the votes to fix the world’s worst immigration laws? Where is the outcry for the killings and crime being caused by gangs and thugs, including MS-13, coming into our country illegally?’ he said in a Monday morning rant.
Immigrants wait to head to a Catholic Charities relief center after being dropped off at a bus station shortly after release from detention through “catch and release” immigration policy on June 17, 2018 in McAllen, Texas. The man said he was separated from his son while in detention. “Catch and release” is a protocol under which people detained by US authorities as unlawful immigrants can be released while they wait for a hearing
A rotating cast of Trump administration officials appeared on national news networks to buttress the president’s arguments and assail Democrats using family separation as a cudgel against the Republicans’ in their war over illegal immigration.
Hogan Gidley, a deputy spokesman for the president, appeared on Fox News and asserted that Democrats are ‘playing politics with people’s lives. They’re doing it on the backs of children. It’s absolutely grotesque.’
‘All they want to do is go down and grandstand and try to use this to political gain to try and get reelected in a few years, and it’s grotesque,’ he told reporters as he walked back inside the White House to his office. ‘We can fix it right now, we can protect our citizens, but more important protect all the children around the world who are trying to come here.’
The Trump spokesman claimed that migrant families ‘separate themselves a lot of times,’ sending their children with coyotes promising to bring them across the border for a hefty price.
‘It’s a deplorable situation, we’ve gotta fix it. And Congress could do it tomorrow, if you close the loopholes, the situation’s solved,’ Gidley stated.
White House Director of Strategic of Communications Mercede Schlapp said on Fox that Democrats are ‘using children as political pawns’ and are essentially ‘advocating for the smugglers who are bringing these children over’ the border.
‘We have our hands tied and the smugglers have the advantage,’ she said, insisting that MS-13 gang members are bringing over small children as leverage.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen says Democrats bludgeoning the administration for its ‘zero tolerance’ policy at the border are acting ‘cowardly’ and could change federal immigration law if they wanted to.
Nielsen stood at the White House podium on Monday and argued that DHS was just doing its job in enforcing a Trump administration policy that has led more than 2,000 children to be separated from their parents or guardians in the last six weeks.
‘If an American were to commit a crime anywhere in the United States,’ she told a room full of reporters, ‘they would go to jail and they would be separated from their family.’
Nielsen said, ‘This is not a controversial idea.’
When asked by reporters if the policy amounts to ‘child abuse’, Nielsen denied the accusation.
‘We have high standards. We give them meals and we give them education and we give them medical care. There are videos, there are TVs. I visited the detention centers myself.’
The president delved without warning into a heated argument over immigration that his administration has been waging with Democrats at a signing ceremony for his space policy initiative
Nielsen also claimed Monday that the crisis of illegal immigrant children being housed separately from the adults who bring them across the border is, in part, fueled by men and women making fraudulent asylum claims with children who aren’t theirs.
‘From October 2017 to this February, we have seen a staggering 315 per cent increase in illegal aliens fraudulently using children to pose as family units to gain entry into the country,’ she told the annual National Association of Sheriffs meeting in New Orleans.
‘This must stop. All this does is put the children at risk,’ the DHS chief added. ‘We do not have the luxury of pretending that all individuals coming to this country as a family unit are in fact a family.’
‘We have to do our job. We will not apologize for doing our job.’
A DHS official told DailyMail.com that in the first five months of fiscal year 2018, DHS found 191 cases of fraud compared to 46 cases in all of fiscal year 2017.
Before the administration’s zero tolerance policy, the official explained, traffickers knew that by bringing over a child they were likely to be released directly into the country and began taking advantage of the system.
The increase in fraudulent cases, by the government’s numbers, was steep – but it counted for relatively small portion of immigrant children entering the country illegally with adults over the same time period.
DHS said that the roughly 1,800 separations from guardians or parents occurred from October through February. Fraudulent cases, therefore, accounted for roughly 11 percent of those separations.
The ‘zero-tolerance’ border security policy adopted in April by the Trump administration was at the center of a flare up on Sunday in the U.S. as Democrats took aim at Republicans celebrating Father’s Day by sharing photos of their families on the Internet.
Democratic lawmakers on Sunday said that they would fight the ‘evil’ separation of children from their parents at the border while accusing the Trump administration of ‘using the grief, the tears, the pain of these kids as mortar to build their wall.’
‘They call it “zero tolerance,” but a better name for it is zero humanity, and there’s zero logic to this policy,’ Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley said during a trip to the Mexican border.
Rep. Adam Schiff told NBC, ‘It’s an effort to extort a bill to their liking in the Congress.
‘It’s, I think, deeply unethical, and by the President’s making these provable falsehoods about what’s required, the party adopting that has become, the GOP has become the party of lies,’ the Democratic congressman stated.
The Trump administration says that ‘open border’ policies have led to a surge in illegal immigration that has forced the administration to treat all migrants unlawfully crossing the Untied States’ southern border as criminals.
‘It is a crime to enter this country illegally. So if [Democrats] don’t like that law, they should change it,’ Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, charged on Meet the Press on Sunday. ‘Do you want the child in jail? As opposed to a facility?’
Conway said that President Trump wants to double the number of family detention centers as part of his 70-point immigration plan that Congress has not passed, in order to keep more families together.
Gidley on Monday charged, ‘There is a separation that occurs because the law exists that way. It is a farce to believe you can keep them together. … Democrats say you can’t detain them. So if you can’t detain them, you can’t deport them, you have to release them into the interior of the country. It’s a complete false choice but it can be so simply if would close these loopholes.’
The White House spokesman forcefully argued that the government has a responsibility to detain undocumented immigrants in order to cut down on crime.
‘And I understand the Democrats are upset about temporary separation of families who come here illegally, ‘ he acknowledged. ‘Where is the outcry for the permanent separation when one of these people come to the country, commit a crime, kill an American citizen either with their own hand or via drugs they distribute, no one comes to their defense?’
‘The permanent separation is the biggest abomination, and no Democrat’s coming out decrying that at all,’ Gidley charged on Fox.
Backing his spokesman up on Twitter, the president demanded that Democrats ‘CHANGE THE LAWS!’ to cut down on the unlawful border traffic driving the administration’s family separation policy.
‘It is the Democrats fault for being weak and ineffective with Boarder Security and Crime. Tell them to start thinking about the people devastated by Crime coming from illegal immigration. Change the laws!’ he tweeted on Monday morning.
Trump said that ‘children are being used by some of the worst criminals on earth as a means to enter our country.’
‘Has anyone been looking at the Crime taking place south of the border. It is historic, with some countries the most dangerous places in the world. Not going to happen in the U.S.’
Democratic lawmakers touring border facilitates on Sunday said that the Trump administration was behaving immorally and unethically in order to get the president’s desired changes to border security.
‘It’s completely unacceptable under any moral code or under any religious tradition to injure children, inflict trauma on them in order to send some political message to adults somewhere overseas,’ Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkely said after stopping by a facility housing 1,500 immigrant children.
Merkley accused Republicans of ‘hurting kids to get legislative leverage is unacceptable. It is evil.’
Texas Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee said Trump ‘is not telling the truth’ about the law as written.
‘There is no law, there is no policy that has allowed him to snatch children away from their families,’ she said. ‘I can assure you we’ll be fighting to the end to stop this ugly, vile program that is harming children and creating massive child abuse.’
Democratic Rep. David Cicilline said the policy was ‘undermining the founding values of this country.’
‘We saw the fear in the eyes of these children who are wondering when they will see their parent ever again. It’s a disgrace, it’s shameful and it’s un-American,’ he said.
Republicans were planning to vote on two pieces of legislation that would overhaul immigration in the House of Representatives following a visit to Capitol Hill from president on Tuesday.
Gidley indicated to reporters at the White House on Monday that a bipartisan group of lawmakers could also be invited to the White House for a conversation on illegal immigration and how to fix a system both sides say is broken.
Even the president’s wife entered into the political fray on Sunday.
‘Mrs. Trump hates to see children separated from their families and hopes both sides of the aisle can finally come together to achieve successful immigration reform,’ her spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said.
‘She believes we need to be a country that follows all laws, but also a country that governs with heart.’
Former First Lady Laura Bush, wife to ex-Republican president George W. Bush, also chimed in.
‘I live in a border state. I appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international boundaries, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart, ‘ she wrote in the Washington Post.
Bill Clinton, an ex-Democratic president, hit the Trump administration, as well, in a Father’s Day tweet that was seconded by his wife, 2016 Democratic nominee for president Hillary Clinton.
‘These children should not be a negotiating tool. And reuniting them with their families would reaffirm America’s belief in & support for all parents who love their children,’ he tweeted.