Trump tells Republicans to 'stop wasting time on immigration'

Anna Jefferson
June 26, 2018

Picture: APRep Steve Russell, R-Okla and Rep Mike Gallagher, R-Wis, walk to a closed-door meeting with House Republicans seeking more information about compromise legislation on immigration.

Just when House Republicans needed Donald Trump's backing the most - on their big immigration overhaul - he dashed off a presidential tweet saying they should quit wasting their time on it. GOP leaders said they'd press on anyway, but his comments further damaged their attempt to win over wavering lawmakers for a measure already facing likely defeat.

Protests and rallies focused around the separation of families at the U.S. -Mexico border are scheduled this weekend, while more than two dozen congressional Democrats planned to visit detention facilities in Texas.

Donald Trump has sharpened his call to deport people who enter the United States illegally, saying they should immediately be sent back to where they came from without any judicial process. Relenting to pressure from lawmakers of both parties, as well as his wife and daughter, Ivanka, Trump signed an executive order Wednesday to stop separating families.

The Trump administration is reportedly preparing to expand its use of detention facilities to house immigrants who cross the border illegally, calling for 15,000 more beds to be available for detained migrants in upcoming weeks.

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US President Donald Trump has told his fellow Republicans in Congress to "stop wasting their time" on immigration legislation until after the November elections.

Trump on Tuesday defended his administration's immigration policy and the forced separation of children from their parents at the US-Mexico border with language that critics said was reminiscent of the Nazi anti-Semitic propaganda that preceded the murder of six million Jews.

"(He) wants Americans to believe that the hundreds of people we saw in this facility were a danger to them and to this country", the Himes said.

"We got 193 votes yesterday on a bill the leadership said wasn't even close, right?" said Pennsylvania Rep. Scott Perry, a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus.

Demonstrators led rallies and protests Saturday to decry the separation of immigrant parents from their children by USA border authorities, while Democratic lawmakers said they aren't convinced the Trump administration has any real plan to reunite them. "Without having Democrats voting, there is no way you can get this done", he said.

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Trump's new message follows months of gridlock in Congress on immigration reform and his repeatedly blaming Democrats for the mess.

Also, Trump is taking a risk by asking Republicans to push off a vote until after the election. President Trump changed half-heartedly his new policy but he remains the President.

The administration says it will now seek to detain immigrant families during their immigration proceedings, which has also stoked an outcry.

Marshall traveled Saturday to the El Paso area as part of a bipartisan congressional group to meet with U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials and to tour a center holding 400 young immigrants near the Tornillo port of entry.

The Trump administration called last year for the expansion of the expedited removals programme to immigrants who have been in the country illegally for up to two years. This comes as a result of the White House's "zero tolerance" policy toward illegal border crossings.

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