WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump urged Congress on Thursday to reform the nation’s “insane” immigration laws, in his latest contradictory outburst over a border crisis that has seen thousands of migrant children separated from their parents.
In a series of tweets, Trump demanded lawmakers “pass smart, fast and reasonable Immigration Laws” now, despite the House of Representatives rejecting a broad immigration bill late last month that had support from the president.
“When people, with or without children, enter our Country, they must be told to leave without our… Country being forced to endure a long and costly trial,” he wrote. Trump has sent a series of conflicting messages on immigration to Congress.
Before the June 22 House vote, he said Republicans — who control both chambers of Congress — “should stop wasting their time on immigration” until after the mid-term elections in November. Shortly afterwards, he travelled to Capitol Hill to urge Republicans to back the pending immigration bill. After it failed, Trump insisted he hadn’t actually sought the measure’s passage.
“I never pushed the Republicans in the House to vote for the Immigration Bill,” he tweeted, “because it could never have gotten enough Democrats” to pass the Senate.
Trump has spoken out repeatedly against lengthy judicial processes to determine migrants’ eligibility for immigration, asylum or deportation, arguing they are a waste of US resources.
“Tell the people ‘OUT,’ and they must leave, just as they would if they were standing on your front lawn. Hiring thousands of ‘judges’ does not work and is not acceptable – only Country in the World that does this!” he added.
“Congress – FIX OUR INSANE IMMIGRATION LAWS NOW!” Trump has made fighting immigration — both illegal and legal — a central plank of his fiercely US-centred policy agenda, resulting in his administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration approach.
Faced with a barrage of criticism, Trump signed an executive order to halt the family separation practice, but made no specific provisions for those already split apart.