Since early May, more than 2,000 children have been separated from their parents after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border as part of a new immigration strategy by the Trump administration.
“We’re going to be signing an executive order, we’re going to also count on Congress obviously, but we are signing an executive order in a little while. We’re going to keep families together but we still have to maintain toughness or our country will be overrun by people, by crime, by all the things that we don’t stand for and we don’t want.”
“The dilemma is: If you’re weak, which some people would like you to be, if you’re really, really pathetically weak, the country’s going to be overrun with millions of people. And if you’re strong, then you don’t have any heart. That’s a tough dilemma. Perhaps, I’d rather be strong, but that’s a tough dilemma.”
Since early May, more than 2,000 children have been separated from their parents after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, according to the Department of Homeland Security, as part of a new immigration strategy by the Trump administration, which has prompted widespread outcry.
Earlier Wednesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan said Republicans are working to pass legislation that will take action to keep families together while also enforcing existing immigration laws amid growing pressure over the administration’s “zero tolerance” policy. The vote on this legislation, he said, could come as early as Thursday.
“This is very good compromised legislation that not only solves the child separation issue at the border, it also solves the border, it solves DACA, it solves a lot of our broken immigration parts,” he said.
Ryan said under the new bill, families will remain together under DHS custody throughout the length of their legal proceedings.
While the Associated Press reports Homeland Security Secretary Kirsten Nielsen has drafted an executive order to end family separation at the border, it’s unclear if the president will sign it, CBS2’s Chris Wragge reported. Trump told Republican lawmakers Wednesday morning that only they can end the separation of children from their parents at the border.
“These are laws that have been on the books for a very long time, we had a great meeting,” he said.
Earlier in a tweet, the president blamed Democrats saying, “It’s the Democrats fault, they won’t give us the votes needed to pass good immigration legislation. They want open borders, which breeds horrible crime. Republicans want security. But I am working on something – it never ends!”
But at a rally calling on the end of separating immigrant families, Democrats, including Representative Joe Crowley from New York, said it’s up to the president to end the practice.
“Let’s be very clear about this, the president has the power to change this policy,” he said. “He implemented this policy, it’s under his parts that it went under effect and he could stop it immediately if he wants to.”