President Trump on Monday praised his administration’s work on immigration
enforcement and border security, saying he's “going to take
it five steps further.”
Speaking at a full Cabinet meeting, Trump said his government has led a
“bottom up effort” on immigration, singling out Attorney General
Jeff Sessions, who he said is “doing a wonderful job” on the issue.
Under Trump’s guidance, federal immigration enforcement has been
aggressively stepped up through increased raids and deportations of previously-identified
Earlier this month, the White House released a set of border security demands
it said would need to be met as part of a legislative deal to shield from
deportation recipients of the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
program. DACA, which was initiated under President Obama, is being wound
down under Trump, which could lead to the deportation of hundreds of thousands
of immigrants who were brought to the United States illegally as children.
Democrats want legislation to provide a path to citizenship to DACA recipients
and other young undocumented immigrants, who are often described as “Dreamers.”
Trump said that the administration’s plan “closes dangerous
loopholes” in the law.
He said reform legislation should reduce “chain migration”
that allows an immigrant to apply to bring in extended family members.
“We have to end chain migration,” said Trump, in favor of “a
system that puts American workers and the American taxpayer first.”
Trump also echoed
statements made by his chief of staff,
John Kelly, in a press conference last week regarding the need for a wall on the
border with Mexico.
“Mexico is having a tough time right now in terms of crime,”
said Trump. “More than ever now we need the wall.”
Trump added that, despite the strong relations between the two countries,
a wall would help isolate the United States from Mexico's drug trafficking
“We have a very good relationship with Mexico but there are lots
of problems,” he said.
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