Washington: US president Donald Trump on Thursday said he has directed his administration to keep illegal immigrant families together during the immigration process, after he backed down on the controversial migrant family separations policy.
Trump also blamed Opposition Democrats for the current crisis on the US southern border, which he said is causing tremendous damage and destruction.
"I'm directing the Health and Human Services (HHS), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to work together to keep illegal immigrant families together during the immigration process and to reunite these previously separated groups," he told his Cabinet members during a White House Cabinet meeting.
He said the only real solution is for the Congress to close the "catch-and-release loopholes" that have fuelled the child smuggling industry, and advocated for an immigration bill.
"They don't care about the children. They don't care about the injury. They don't care about the problems. All they do is they obstruct. We should be able to make an immigration bill that can really solve the problem, not just this. This is one aspect of it. This is one very important, but small, aspect of it," he said.
President Trump urged Democratic lawmakers to come out with a legislative solution to the immigration process, which, he said, needs to be merit-based.
"My administration is also acting swiftly to address the illegal immigration crisis on the southern border. Loopholes in our immigration laws, all supported by extremist open-border Democrats and that's what they are. They're extremist, open-border Democrats," he alleged.
These loopholes, he said, have led to massive child smuggling industry. "It's exactly what it's become. Human traffickers are making a fortune. It's a disgrace," he added.
Trump said that since 2014 alone, nearly 2,00,000 unaccompanied alien minors have been released into the United States as a result of Democrats-backed loopholes, including catch-and-release, which is one of the worst.
"You catch them, and then you release them. Might as well save your time, don't bother catching them. And this is what we're stuck with. They're the worst immigration laws in the history of the world. The whole world is laughing at the United States, and they have been for years," he said.
"We have to house these minors and we have to house them safely. Frankly, we have to house them, and we should be taking good care of them, and then we should return them back home. That's what we have to do.
"But, every time we ask for resources, the Democrats say no. They say no to everything. They're obstructionists because they think that's good politically. For them, I think it's bad politically," Trump said.
Trump has earlier signed an executive order following widespread protests against the move of his administration to separate children from their parents who illegally enter the country. In recent weeks, more than 2,500 such children were separated from their parents.
Updated Date: Jun 22, 2018 09:40:04 IST