Amid charges his administration is separating illegal alien families, President Trump warned that the severe cultural upheaval plaguing German and other European nations could be replicated in the United States.
In tweets Monday morning, Trump criticized Democratic lawmakers along with German and European immigration laws.
“We don’t want what is happening with immigration in Europe to happen with us!” he wrote.
Trump accused the Democratic Party of blocking an effort to pass major immigration reform.
“Why don’t the Democrats give us the votes to fix the world’s worst immigration laws?” he wrote. “Where is the outcry for the killings and crime being caused by gangs and thugs, including MS-13, coming into our country illegally?
Meanwhile, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen defended the administration’s immigration policies in a speech at a meeting Monday of the National Sheriffs’ Association in New Orleans.
“We will not apologize for the job we do or for the job law enforcement does for doing the job that the American people expect us to do,” Nielsen said.
She said the practice of past administrations of telling immigration agents to look the other way when families cross the border illegally is over.
“Illegal actions have and must have consequences. No more free passes, no more get out of jail free cards,” she said.
DHS, after it began referring all cases of illegal entry to the Justice Department last month, said it separated nearly 2,000 children from adults over at the U.S. southern border over the following six weeks.
In a tweet Sunday, Nielsen said members of Congress, the media and advocacy groups have been misreporting the family policy, which was established during the Obama administration.
“As I have said many times before, if you are seeking asylum for your family, there is no reason to break the law and illegally cross between ports of entry,” she wrote.
The administration contends it is bound by law, a 2016 court consent decree known as the Flores settlement, which requires that unaccompanied children be held by the government for only 20 days.
Critics insist DHS has discretion regarding the separation of families, calling its enforcement of the law child abuse.
Trump officials argue that children become separated when families enter the country illegally and then seek asylum to extend their stay. They enter the country knowing children can be held only 20 days. Because asylum petitions require more than 20 days to process, the government must either release the adults and children together or hold the adults and release the children. Experience has shown that adult illegal immigrants released while their claim is pending usually don’t show up for their hearings.
Hogan Gidley, a White House deputy press secretary, charged Monday that Democrats are blocking a legislative solution to the problem because they want “a radical open-border policy.”
“Ask the Democrats this question: We can’t deport them, we can’t separate them, we can’t detain them, we can’t prosecute them. What they want is a radical open-border policy that lets everyone out into the interior of this country with virtually no documentation whatsoever,” he said.
“They could come to the table and fix this immediately. They’ve chosen not to do that,” he contended.
Trump tweeted Monday that children “are being used by some of the worst criminals on earth as a means to enter our country.”
“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.”
Regarding Germany, Trump said German citizens are “turning against their leadership as migration is rocking the already tenuous Berlin coalition.”
“Big mistake made all over Europe in allowing millions of people in who have so strongly and violently changed their culture!”
Talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh said Monday the separation-of-families issue is a “manufactured crisis.”
“This has been going on for years,” he said. “It happened during the Obama administration. Nobody said a word about it, primarily the media.”