WASHINGTON — President Trump remained resistant on Monday within the face of rising public outcry over his administration’s coverage of separating youngsters from their mother and father at the border, repeating the false assertion that Democrats have been those to blame for it, and suggesting that criminals — not mother and father — have been toting juveniles to the United States.
“They could be murderers and thieves and so much else,” Mr. Trump mentioned of the folks crossing the border, as he delivered considerably incongruous remarks throughout a gathering of the National Space Council on Monday. “We want a safe country, and it starts with the borders, and that’s the way it is.”
For a number of days, senior members of the administration, some declining to converse on the report, have used blame as a roundabout protection tactic for a coverage that has seen almost 2,000 youngsters taken away from their mother and father in a six-week interval and drawn condemnation from a refrain of Republican and Democratic critics.
Those critics have included a gaggle of Democratic lawmakers, President Bill Clinton and Laura Bush, the final Republican first girl. The present first girl, Melania Trump, additionally weighed in, calling for “a country that governs with a heart.”
In a collection of tweets and speeches on Monday, Mr. Trump as an alternative relied on concern to curry assist for a “zero tolerance” coverage that refers for prison prosecution all immigrants apprehended crossing the border with out authorization. The president used the specter of gang violence and different crime, and a change within the cloth of American tradition as a method to stoke assist amongst supporters and push Congress into determining a approach to drum up funding for his long-promised border wall.
“Children are being used by some of the worst criminals on earth as a means to enter our country,” he wrote. “Has anyone been looking at the Crime taking place south of the border. It is historic, with some countries the most dangerous places in the world. Not going to happen in the U.S.”
Mr. Trump repeated his running blame of Democratic insurance policies — “CHANGE THE LAWS!” — even supposing no regulation requires households to essentially be separated at the border.
Across the nation, senior administration members echoed his message, equating an increase in border crossings with an increase in crime and suggesting that the individuals who have been separated at the border weren’t households at all.
In a speech at a regulation enforcement convention in New Orleans on Monday, Kirstjen Nielsen, the secretary of homeland safety, piggybacked on the president’s declare, and mentioned that between October and February, there was a 315 p.c improve within the variety of undocumented immigrants “fraudulently” utilizing “unaccompanied alien children” to pose as a household unit so as to enter the United States.
“This must stop,” she mentioned. “All this does is put the children at risk.”
The giant share that Ms. Nielsen cited refers to a sliver of general information: During that time-frame, there have been 191 circumstances of fraudulent household claims reported, up from 46 circumstances for all of 2017, when greater than 303,000 crossing attempts have been recorded. Still, Ms. Nielsen, who on Sunday mentioned that the administration didn’t even have a coverage of separating households, held agency.
“We do not have the luxury of pretending that all individuals coming to this country as a family unit are in fact a family,” Ms. Nielsen mentioned. “This administration has a simple message: If you cross the border illegally, we will prosecute you.”
At the identical convention, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, one among the policy’s most vocal defenders, mentioned that Americans would have to determine whether or not to be a “country of laws, or whether we want to be a country without borders.” He mentioned that households had for too lengthy taken benefit of lax immigration legal guidelines to achieve entry to the United States.
“Why wouldn’t you bring children with you,” Mr. Sessions mentioned, “if you know you’ll be released and not prosecuted?”
In one other tweet, Mr. Trump appeared to Germany, one among America’s closest allies, to warn the public about what would possibly occur if the coverage was relaxed. The president falsely claimed that crime in Germany is on the rise, and railed in opposition to immigration insurance policies in Europe
“The people of Germany are turning against their leadership as migration is rocking the already tenuous Berlin coalition,” Mr. Trump wrote. “Crime in Germany is way up. Big mistake made all over Europe in allowing millions of people in who have so strongly and violently changed their culture!”
Germany’s authorities is on precarious political footing as disputes grow about Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-door refugee coverage for these in search of asylum.
While Mr. Trump’s evaluation of Germany’s crime issues isn’t correct — crime within the nation is the bottom since 1992, in accordance to the most recent German data available — the brutal murder of a 14-year-old German girl has fueled Ms. Merkel’s opponents who’re in opposition to the nation’s migration insurance policies that present entry to some 10,000 asylum seekers every month.
Over the weekend, Mr. Trump spoke with Viktor Orban, the Hungarian prime minister who is understood for his anti-immigration rhetoric. Both males agreed that robust borders are wanted, in accordance to the White House
Marc Santora contributed reporting from Warsaw.