A Border Patrol officer watches a road near the U.S.-Mexico border in Sunland Park, N.M., on April 24, 2019. | Cedar Attanasio/AP Photo
President Donald Trump on Sunday lamented his administration’s decision to stop the practice of separating families illegally crossing the U.S-Mexico border, calling it “the worst immigration laws ever, incompetent, they’re there for a long time.”
“When they used to separate children, which was done during the Obama administration, with Bush, with us, with everybody, far fewer people would come, and we’ve been on a humane basis, it’s pretty bad,” Trump told Maria Bartiromo, host of Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,“ in a phone interview.Story Continued Below
“We go out and we stop the separation. The problem is, you have 10 times more people coming up with their families. It’s like Disneyland now,” he continued. Trump also complained that due process was required to remove these people from the country, complaining of lawyers (“Perry Mason”) getting in the way.
“In our country you have to bring them to court and you have to have Perry Mason involved, it’s all legal,” he said. “You have lawyers standing at the border. Our people, lawyers, wise guys, standing at the border, signing people up.”
Trump added that the court system had 900,000 pending cases, and said that “it’s a system Congress can fix, and they don’t get off their ass.”
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Trump blamed “having a great economy and having the weakest immigration laws” for having an increase in immigrants heading to the southern border. He also called on Democrats to vote with Republicans on tougher immigration law, saying the country has “things that nobody in their right mind would have,” including the practice of catch and release, chain migration and a visa lottery.
“We’re trying to get rid of them; the Democrats won’t do it,” he said. “We need some Democrat votes. We’re unanimous with the Republicans, but we need some Democrat votes.”
Trump once again touted his “top of the line” wall, which he said would have 400 miles built by the end of next year. Although he did not give any specific policy proposals, Trump also said he was working with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on an immigration reform package that would include a merit-based immigration process.
Trump said that “we have companies pouring in,” attributing it to his tax cut plan. “The problem is we need workers and we’re doing a plan based on merit where people come in, Maria, based on merit so they can help us.”
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