Immigrants cast as criminals
Democrats and people that are weak on immigration, they don’t want to discuss, they don’t want to hear, they don’t want to see, they don’t want to talk about,’’ Trump said at the White House.
The president has been on the defensive because of his ‘‘zero tolerance’’ enforcement policy that has led to at least 2500 migrant children being separated from their parents.
While Trump signed an executive order Thursday ending the practice, he has bristled at the sympathy directed towards the migrant families and argued without evidence that many are criminals intent on doing harm once in the United States.
‘‘We must maintain a Strong Southern Border,’’ Trump tweeted. ‘‘We cannot allow our Country to be overrun by illegal immigrants as the Democrats tell their phony stories of sadness and grief, hoping it will help them in the elections.’’
The administration has struggled to implement the hastily drafted executive order, which was intended to end the controversy over family separations by stating that parents and children could be detained together.
But the Homeland Security Department interpreted it as meaning they would no longer refer for prosecution the cases of adults illegally crossing the US border with children because of a lack of space at existing facilities for housing detained families.
The Justice Department wanted the prosecutions to continue.
Administration officials met to try to hash out these differences as well as to come up with a plan for reuniting the migrant families that have already been separated.
At the White House event on Saturday, Trump and many of the family members who spoke criticised what they called onesided media coverage that does not focus on their stories.
‘‘We weren’t lucky enough to be separated for five days or 10 days; we’re separated permanently,’’ said Laura Wilkerson, whose son Josh was killed in 2010. ‘‘Any time we want to see or be close to our kids, we go to the cemetery, because that’s where they are.
‘‘We could never speak to them, we can’t Skype with them.’’
The president blamed Democrats for what he called weak immigration laws and policies that treat those in the country illegally too leniently, even though Republicans control Congress and failed last week to pass an immigration bill out of the House because of opposition from GOP members. – Washington Post