Donald Trump hosts event for families of people killed by undocumented migrants, says he will allow only merit-based immigration

Washington: US president Donald Trump hosted an event at the White House on Friday for family members of those killed by illegal immigrants, also known as "angel families".

Trump vowed to secure US' international borders and prevent people from illegally entering America, and said that he wants only those based on merit to come inside the country, amid a major immigration row.

He emphasised that his government's first duty and highest loyalty was towards the citizens of the United States, towards ensuring safety in the country and along the borders.

"We want people in our country based on merit, not based on a draw where other countries put their absolute worst in a bin and they start drawing people," he said told the families. "You think they're going to put their good ones? They don't put their good ones, they put their bad ones. And then when they commit crimes, we're so surprised. We'll not rest until our border is secure, our citizens are safe and we finally end the immigration crisis once and for all," he said.

 Donald Trump hosts event for families of people killed by undocumented migrants, says he will allow only merit-based immigration

File image of US president Donald Trump. AP

Trump said the US wants people to come in, but in the proper way. "So thank you all for being here, these are incredible families, incredible people. Your loved ones have not died in vain," he told the angel families.

He alleged that it is the stories of these families that the Opposition Democrats and people that are "weak on immigration" don't want to discuss. "No major (news) network sent cameras to their homes, or displayed the images of their incredible loved ones across the nightly news. They don't do that. They don't talk about the death and destruction caused by people that shouldn't be here, people that will continuously get into trouble and do bad things," Trump said.

According to a 2011 government report, he said, the arrests attached to the criminal alien population included an estimated 25,000 people for homicide, 42,000 for robbery, nearly 70,000 for sex offenses, and nearly 15,000 for kidnapping. In Texas alone, within the last seven years, more than a quarter million criminal aliens have been arrested and charged with over 600,000 criminal offenses, he said.

In 2016, he said, more than 15,000 Americans died from a heroin overdose. More than 90 percent of the heroin comes from across the southern border. As a result of sanctuary city policies, in fiscal 2017, more than 8,000 criminal aliens were in police custody, and were released because of weak laws.

"Where is the media outrage over the catch-and-release policies that allow deadly drugs to pour into our country? Where is the condemnation of the Democrats sanctuary cities that release violent criminals into our communities and then protect them, like the mayor of San Diego, when she warned everybody that 'ICE is coming', and they scattered," he asked.

The Trump Administration created the Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) Office in order to support the victims and families affected by illegal alien crime. US Immigration and Customs Enforcement launched the VOICE Office in April 2017, following an Executive Order by the President calling for its creation, he said.

Updated Date: Jun 23, 2018 09:37:19 IST