June 26 (UPI) — At a political rally in South Carolina Monday night, President Donald Trump didn’t mince words with his message to migrants trying to enter the United States unlawfully: “We don’t want you.”
Trump traveled to the state to stump for Gov. Henry McMaster and his bid to win Tuesday’s Republican gubernatorial runoff against challenger John Warren. McMaster received 53,000 more votes in the June 12 GOP primary and is trying to hold off a late surge by Warren’s campaign.
Trump endorsed McMaster in his speech in West Columbia, but steered the address toward the biggest issue currently facing his administration.
“If a person comes in, steps one foot, they take their name, bring them to court, release them, go into the country. You never see them again. It’s the craziest thing I’ve ever seen,” Trump said. “So I said today, I don’t want judges. I want ICE and border patrol agents. That’s what I want.
“And we want to tell people, ‘I’m sorry you’re coming in to the country illegally. We don’t want you in the country. That’s it. It’s now over.’”
Trump said migrants must be stopped at the border and unaccompanied children sent back.
“We need strong borders, we’re talking about it now,” he said.
Trump also heckled the media and criticized journalists as “fake newsers,” as he drew chants boos from the crowd.
Trump’s speech came amid heightened criticism of his administration’s handling of border enforcement. Last week, he was roundly condemned for border agents separating migrant children from their parents and keeping them apart in custody. Under heavy pressure from the public and nearly all members of Congress, he eventually signed an order Wednesday allowing detained families to remain together. The fix, though, is temporary and is now an issue Congress is addressing in a number of immigration proposals.
The president urged South Carolina voters to keep McMaster, who took over for former Gov. Nikki Haley when she became Trump’s U.N. ambassador, in office.
“You know that if a horrible thing happens, and we weren’t lucky enough to have Henry win, you know they won’t talk about it. They’ll say, ‘Donald Trump suffered a major, major defeat in the great state of South Carolina. It was a humiliating defeat for Donald Trump.’ So please get your asses out tomorrow and vote.
“We will make America strong again, we will make America safe again, and we will make America great again.”
If McMaster wins Tuesday, he will face Democrat James Smith Jr. in the general election on Nov. 6.