President Donald Trump suggested Saturday that he is using his administration’s separation of families at the US border as a negotiating tool to get Democrats to cave on his immigration demands, which include funding for a border wall, curbing legal immigration into the US, and tightening the rules for border enforcement.
Trump again falsely blamed Democrats for his administration’s actions, and said they could put a stop to the family separations by working with Republicans in Congress. Nearly 2,000 immigrant children were separated from parents over a period of about six weeks in April and May, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
“Democrats can fix their forced family breakup at the Border by working with Republicans on new legislation, for a change!” Trump wrote in a tweet.
According to reporting by The Washington Post, White House officials said President Donald Trump has calculated he will gain leverage in congressional negotiations by enforcing a policy he claims to hate.
“I hate the children being taken away,” Trump said Friday morning. But Trump suggested Friday in an interview on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends” he would not reverse his administration’s policy unless Democrats agreed to his longstanding immigration priorities.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told reporters on Thursday that she sees “no prospects” for a legislative fix.
The separations stem from a deliberate policy shift by the Trump administration, which it has the power to unilaterally reverse.
CNN’s Tal Kopan, Lauren Fox and Phil Mattingly