President Donald Trump rejected press attempts Tuesday to paint him as “punishing children” after missing a deadline on reuniting illegal alien adults and minors. Trump instead provided the press with his solution to the problem, “Tell people not to come to our country illegally.”
Trump stopped to talk with press on the White House south lawn Tuesday before boarding Marine One and heading to the NATO summit in Brussels, Belgium. The press asked Trump for reaction to the latest missed deadline on reuniting adults and children separated after illegally crossing the U.S. southern border.
“Well, I have a solution,” replied the president. “Tell people not to come to our country illegally. That’s the solution. Don’t come to our country illegally. Come like other people do. Come legally.”
“Well, I have a solution: Tell people not to come to our country illegally. That's the solution: Don't come to our country illegally. Come like other people do—come legally. I'm saying this very simply: We have laws, we have borders. Don't come to our country illegally.” pic.twitter.com/kiwB8rJVDl
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) July 10, 2018
Media tried to spin Trump’s comments by coming back with the prodding assertion, “Is that what you’re saying? You’re punishing the children?”
“I’m saying this: We have laws,” Trump replied. “We have borders. Don’t come to our country illegally. It’s not a good thing.”
The president then turned attention toward ravenous calls from the left to abolish ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement), calling it a “disgrace.”
“And as far as ICE is concerned, the people that are fighting ICE? It’s a disgrace,” he told the reporters. He highlighted ICE agents’ willingness to “go into harm’s way.”
“There is nobody under greater danger than the people from ICE. What they do to MS-13, and everything else,” said Trump, encouraging support for the men and women of ICE. “So we ought to support ICE, not do what the Democrats are doing.”
“Democrats want open borders, and they don’t mind crime,” said Trump. “We want no crime, and we want borders where borders mean something. And remember this: Without borders, you do not have a country.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions sought a revision of the 1997 Flores court settlement that limits the length of time adults crossing the southern border with minors can be held. The settlement was updated in 2015 under then-President Barack Obama. The timeline left officials without sufficient time to process asylum claims, requiring the illegal migrants to be released after just 20 days. On Monday Judge Dolly Gee refused Sessions’ revision of the settlement, likely forcing the reinstatement of catch and release.
The Trump administration had instituted a zero-tolerance policy for illegal border crossers, but Flores meant minors could not be detained longer than 20 days, whereas adults could. Trump halted separation of minors and adult illegal border crossers in June amid rising uproar in the media. The situation has left the state of handling illegal border crossing cases in flux.
The government is using DNA testing to verify that the adults who brought minors over the border with them are indeed the parents. Some illegal border crosses have been known to use non-related children to cross in an attempt to evade deportation or for purposes of child exploitation.
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