President Donald Trump has doubled down on his tough immigration rhetoric, vowing to keep arresting illegal immigrants and blaming Democrats for wanting illegal immigrants to pour in as their potential voters.
Trump’s Monday morning tweets come amid a growing backlash over his administration’s ‘zero-tolerance’ immigration policy. The policy has seen every illegal border-jumper criminally prosecuted and almost 2,000 children separated from their parents in the last two months, as the parents await trial.
But Trump has defended his policy by tweeting: “If you don’t have Borders, you don’t have a Country!”
The president also accused illegal immigrants of endangering the lives of their children by sending them unaccompanied to the US. There are currently 12,000 children in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services. Of these, 10,000 were sent across the border unaccompanied, according to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.
The Trump administration blames previous administrations for lax border laws that entice immigrants to come to the United States, and also for a 2008 law that allows children to be taken into custody by HHS. “We’re not the ones responsible for creating this problem,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. “We’ve inherited it. But we’re the first administration stepping up and trying to fix it.”
In another tweet on Tuesday, Trump accused Democrats of letting illegal immigrants, including gang members, “pour into and infest” the US to court their votes.
“Democrats are the problem,” he proclaimed. “They don’t care about crime and want illegal immigrants, no matter how bad they may be, to pour into and infest our Country, like MS-13. They can’t win on their terrible policies, so they view them as potential voters!”
Since the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy was debuted over a month ago, the number of people in detention centers has risen and backlogs have built up in courts. With children detained for longer, HHS announced last week that it will build a ‘tent city’ near El Paso, Texas, to handle the overflow.
The growing crowds at these detention centers have thrust Trump’s immigration policy into the spotlight, and he has faced calls to end the separation of families from Democrats, Republicans, celebrities and commentators, many of whom were silent while the Obama administration did the same thing.
A recent Quinnipiac University poll shows that two-thirds of Americans oppose the family separation policy. Despite these results and the media outcry, President Trump is enjoying higher approval ratings than ever before. A Gallup poll puts Trump’s approval rating at 45 percent, the highest rating since his first week in office and par with Barack Obama’s approval rating at the same point of his presidency. Another Rasmussen poll puts his approval at 48 percent.
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