WASHINGTON– Democrats reacted strongly Friday to President Donald Trump’s proposal to ship detained migrants to “sanctuary cities.”
“Due to the fact that Democrats are unwilling to change our very dangerous immigration laws, we are indeed, as reported, giving strong considerations to placing Illegal Immigrants in Sanctuary Cities only,” Trump tweeted Friday. “The Radical Left always seems to have an Open Borders, Open Arms policy – so this should make them very happy!”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, visibly shaken by the news, slammed the president Friday afternoon when asked by reporters for comment.
“I don’t know anything about it, but again, it’s just another notion that is unworthy of the presidency of the United States and disrespectful of the challenges that we face as a county, as a people, to address who we are: a nation of immigrants,” Pelosi said.
Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) was also quick to attack the president’s plan.
“If it’s true, it is very unfortunate and to be condemned,” Hoyer said of the reports. “That you could use ICE — or any other federal agency — to penalize or to visit retribution for political reasons, that’s not the act of a democratic government.”
Trump’s announcement comes just one day after a Washington Post report claimed the president had once before suggested such an effort only to have it shot down by ICE officials as a would-be public relations nightmare.
Trump campaigned heavily on border security during his 2016 presidential campaign, an issue that is certain to carry over to his 2020 bid for reelection.
WASHINGTON — Last week’s resignation by Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was prompted in large part by her refusal to enforce president Donald Trump’s policy of separating illegal immigrant families at the border, says an NBC report.
“I have determined that it is the right time for me to step aside,” Nielsen wrote in a resignation letter to Trump, according to a report published by The New York Times. “I hope that the next secretary will have the support of Congress and the courts in fixing the laws which have impeded our ability to fully secure America’s borders and which have contributed to discord in our nation’s discourse.”
White House insiders say the president’s no-nonsense approach to illegal immigration was just too tough for Nielsen to abide by. Her resignation comes just days after Trump rallied against the crisis at the border, demanding that Mexico “to their part” in curbing the influx of illegals crossing the southern U.S. border.
Undeterred, President Trump confirmed Nielsen’s resignation on Sunday, announcing that Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan will take over as Acting Secretary.
“Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen will be leaving her position, and I would like to thank her for her service,” Trump tweeted on Sunday. “I am pleased to announce that Kevin McAleenan, the current U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner, will become Acting Secretary for @DHSgov. I have confidence that Kevin will do a great job!”
A senior administration official told NBC the president feels strongly that family separation has been the most effective policy at deterring illegal immigration.
Democrats have often called out this policy as “racist” and declared enforcement of such policy as “unconstitutional.”
“Hampered by misstep after misstep, Kirstjen Nielsen’s tenure at the Department of Homeland Security was a disaster from the start,” Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, D-Miss., chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, said in a statement.
“It is clearer now than ever that the Trump administration’s border security and immigration policies — that she enacted and helped craft — have been an abysmal failure and have helped create the humanitarian crisis at the border.”
President Trump campaigned heavily on promises of securing the nation’s borders during his 2016 presidential campaign. The issue will remain a large part of his efforts at re-election in 2020.
WASHINGTON — Democrats are leaving President Donald Trump “no choice” but to crack down hard on border security, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee- Sanders said on Tuesday, and the president will do “whatever it takes” to protect the American people.
“Democrats in Congress are leaving us no choice,” Sanders said during an appearance on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom,” referencing the president’s vow to close the southern border. “This is not the path the president wants to take. They’re leaving us no choice because they’re unwilling to fix the problem. They’re too busy playing politics.”
Sanders’ comments come one week after Trump threatened to shut down the border between the U.S. and Mexico after House Democrats refused to authorize funds needed to build the wall.
Mexico, Sanders said, must step up its efforts to stop the flow of illegal immigration into the U.S. or face the financial ramifications.
“That’s certainly a big part of this process, is Mexico stepping up and helping the United States do more by helping stop people from coming across our border by stopping them in Mexico,” Sanders said. “We need them to continue to do that so that we aren’t forced take drastic action like closing the ports of entry at our border because we simply have no choice.”
“The president is the one that is responsible for the last two years of economic growth, economic boom, and the number of jobs that we have in this country. We don’t want to see that hurt,” Sanders continued. “But at the same time, the president’s No. 1 responsibility is to protect American life.”
Despite pushback from the left, border patrol agents have come out in support of the president’s plan to shut down the border, claiming doing so will better help them gain better control of illegal immigration.
“If Mexico doesn’t immediately stop ALL illegal immigration coming into the United States [through] our Southern Border, I will be CLOSING the border, or large sections of the Border next week,” the president vowed last week on Twitter. “This would be so easy for Mexico to do, but they just take our money and “talk.” Besides, we lose so much money with them, especially when you add in drug trafficking etc.), that the Border closing would be a good thing!”
Democrats, angered by the president’s commitment to shutting down the U.S. border have called his threats “racist” and a “violation” of his presidential authority.
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has ordered the deployment of hundreds of officers to secure the southern US border and will immediately expedite the returning migrants seeking asylum to Mexico, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen announced Monday.
“The crisis at our border is worsening, and DHS will do everything in its power to end it,” Nielsen said in a statement. “We will not stand idly by while Congress fails to act yet again, so all options are on the table.”
The deployment of 750 officers to process a surge of migrant families entering the United States was announced last week and Nielsen says they plan to reassign more than 2,000 more.
“We will immediately redeploy hundreds of CBP personnel to the border to respond to this emergency, the statement reads. “We will urgently pursue additional reinforcements from within DHS and the interagency. And we will require those seeking to enter the United States to wait in Mexico until an immigration court has reviewed their claims.”
Liberal organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have sued the Trump administration in the past, claiming such strict immigration policies are “racist” and violate US law.
The news comes just one week after President Trump threatened to shut down parts, if not all, of the border if his demands for stricter border control efforts were not met.
“If Mexico doesn’t immediately stop ALL illegal immigration coming into the United States through our Southern Border, I will be CLOSING the Border, or large sections of the Border, next week,” the president tweeted.
“I am not kidding around,” the president told reporters. “It could mean all trade. We will close it for a long time.”
The “surge” in new officers is expected to focus primarily in border areas in California and Texas, where a large portion of illegal immigration occurs.
Trump campaigned heavily on securing the nation’s border as part of his “Make America Great Again” 2016 presidential campaign. The issue is expected to remain a focus in his 2020 re-election agenda.
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump claimed yet another victory Tuesday as the House failed to override his efforts to declare a national emergency on the nation’s border.
Lawmakers in the Democratic-controlled House voted 248-181 in favor of overturning his veto, 38 votes shy of the number needed for the required two-thirds majority.
“Keeping our nation secure should be the president’s very highest priority. With President Trump, there is no question he has and will continue to carry out this priority,” Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.) said during floor debate prior to the vote. “He has very clearly laid out the case for a declaration for a national emergency. There is a crisis at the border.”
Border security, a central focus of the president’s 2016 campaign, has been a long fought effort throughout Trump’s two and a half year presidency.
The vote clears the path for the president to shift budget funds. By declaring his now successful national emergency the president intends to allocate $3.6 billion that was originally allotted for military construction projects toward border security. Congress voted this year to limit spending on such border security efforts to less than $1.4 billion.
Despite the president’s victory, Democrats were quick to point out the near miss.
“The President’s lawless emergency declaration clearly violates the Congress’s exclusive power of the purse, and Congress will work through the appropriations and defense authorization processes to terminate this dangerous action and restore our constitutional system of balance of powers,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) said in a joint statement. “We will continue to review all options to protect our Constitution and our Democracy from the President’s assault.”
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican-run Senate firmly rejected President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at the southwest border on Thursday, setting up a veto fight and dealing him a conspicuous rebuke as he tested how boldly he could ignore Congress in pursuit of his highest-profile goal.
The Senate voted 59-41 to cancel Trump’s February proclamation of a border emergency, which he invoked to spend $3.6 billion more for border barriers than Congress had approved. Twelve Republicans joined Democrats in defying Trump in a showdown many GOP senators had hoped to avoid because he commands die-hard loyalty from millions of conservative voters who could punish defecting lawmakers in next year’s elections.
With the Democratic-controlled House’s approval of the same resolution last month, Senate passage sends it to Trump. He has shown no reluctance to casting his first veto to advance his campaign exhortation, “Build the Wall,” which has prompted roars at countless Trump rallies. Approval votes in both the Senate and House fell short of the two-thirds majorities that would be needed for an override to succeed.
“VETO!” Trump tweeted minutes after the vote.
Trump has long been comfortable vetoing the measure because he thinks it will endear him to his political base, said a White House official, commenting anonymously because the official wasn’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly.
Though Trump seems sure to prevail in that battle, it remains noteworthy that lawmakers of both parties resisted him in a fight directly tied to his cherished campaign theme of erecting a border wall. The roll call came just a day after the Senate took a step toward a veto fight with Trump on another issue, voting to end U.S. support for the Saudi Arabian-led coalition’s war in Yemen.
In a measure of how remarkable the confrontation was, Thursday was the first time Congress has voted to block a presidential emergency since the National Emergency Act became law in 1976.
Even before Thursday’s vote, there were warnings that GOP senators resisting Trump could face political consequences. A White House official said Trump won’t forget when senators who oppose him want him to attend fundraisers or provide other help. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly on internal deliberations.
At the White House, Trump did not answer when reporters asked if there would be consequences for Republicans who voted against him.
“I’m sure he will not be happy with my vote,” said moderate Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, a GOP defector who faces re-election next year in a state that reveres independent streaks in its politicians. “But I’m a United State senator and feel my job to stand up for the Constitution. So let the chips fall where they may.”
Underscoring the political pressures in play, Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., one of the first Republicans to say he’d oppose Trump’s border emergency, voted Thursday to support it.
Tillis, who faces a potentially difficult re-election race next year, cited talks with the White House that suggest Trump could be open to restricting presidential emergency powers in the future. Tillis wrote in a Washington Post opinion column last month that there’d be “no intellectual honesty” in backing Trump after his repeated objections about executive overreach by President Barack Obama.
Still, the breadth of opposition among Republicans suggested how concern about his declaration had spread to all corners of the GOP. Republican senators voting for the resolution blocking Trump included Mitt Romney of Utah, the party’s 2012 presidential candidate; Mike Lee of Utah, a solid conservative; Trump 2016 presidential rivals Marco Rubio of Florida and Rand Paul of Kentucky and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, a respected centrist.
Republicans control the Senate 53-47. Democrats solidly opposed Trump’s declaration.
Presidents have declared 58 national emergencies since the 1976 law, but this was the first aimed at accessing money that Congress had explicitly denied, according to Elizabeth Goitein, co-director for national security at New York University Law School’s Brennan Center for Justice.
Trump and Republicans backing him said there is a legitimate security and humanitarian crisis at the border with Mexico. They also said Trump was merely exercising his powers under the law, which largely leaves it to presidents to decide what a national emergency is.
“The president is operating within existing law, and the crisis on our border is all too real,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
Opponents said Trump’s assertion of an emergency was overblown. They said he issued his declaration only because Congress agreed to provide less than $1.4 billion for barriers and he was desperate to fulfill his campaign promise on the wall. They said the Constitution gives Congress, not presidents, control over spending and said Trump’s stretching of emergency powers would invite future presidents to do the same for their own concerns.
“He’s obsessed with showing strength, and he couldn’t just abandon his pursuit of the border wall, so he had to trample on the Constitution to continue his fight,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.
Republicans had hoped that Trump would endorse a separate bill by Utah’s Sen. Lee constraining emergency declarations in the future and that would win over enough GOP senators to reject Thursday’s resolution.
But Trump told Lee on Wednesday that he opposed Lee’s legislation, prompting Lee himself to say he would back the resolution.
The strongest chance of blocking Trump remains several lawsuits filed by Democratic state attorneys general, environmental groups and others. Those cases could effectively block Trump from diverting extra money to barrier construction for months or longer.
On Twitter, Trump called on Republicans to oppose the resolution, which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., helped drive through the House last month.
“Today’s issue is BORDER SECURITY and Crime!!! Don’t vote with Pelosi!” he tweeted, invoking the name of a Democrat who boatloads of GOP ads have villainized in recent campaign cycles.
Other Republicans voting against Trump’s border emergency were Roy Blunt of Missouri, Jerry Moran of Kansas, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Rob Portman of Ohio, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Roger Wicker of Mississippi.
The National Emergency Act gives presidents wide leeway in declaring an emergency. Congress can vote to block a declaration, but the two-thirds majorities required to overcome presidential vetoes make it hard for lawmakers to prevail.
Lee had proposed letting a presidential emergency declaration last 30 days unless Congress voted to extend it. That would have applied to future emergencies but not Trump’s current order unless he sought to renew it next year.
Associated Press writers Jill Colvin, Padmananda Rama and Andrew Taylor contributed to the contents of this report.
NOGALES, Ariz.– An Arizona border town is at the center of controversy after razor wire was installed on a wall built to divide it from Mexico.
The city council of Nogales, Arizona, which sits on the border with Nogales, Mexico, is set to consider a motion Wednesday night to remove the razor wire after opponents of the wire claimed that the addition was too “extreme”.
Mayor Arturo Garino told the town’s local paper, the Nogales International, that he asked U.S. Sen. Martha McSally to help the city have the wire removed during a visit to the border last month.
“That wire is lethal, and I really don’t know what they’re thinking by putting it all the way down to the ground,” he said Monday.
The sleepy Arizona town of approximately 20,000 people is not the only border location to utilize such a deterrent.
At the direction of President Donald Trump, the military has installed concertina wire at several official crossings and ports of entry along the U.S.-Mexico border since early November.
In a tweet, U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva, a Democrat, called Trump’s order to install razor wire at locations along the U.S. border a “stunt by the Trump administration”, which he said is “trying to create the perception of rampant lawlessness and crime.”
In an effort to crack down on the ongoing issue of illegal immigration President Trump ordered troops deployed to protect the southern U.S. border at the end of 2018. On Sunday, Pentagon officials said it was sending an additional 3,750 troops to install 150 miles of concertina wire at various locations. There are currently 4,350 active-duty troops on the border.
A spokesperson for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Department said installation of the wire will continue at border locations in Texas, Arizona and California as long as there is a standing order by the president to do so.
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Monday stepped up his attacks on what he called the “crazed lunatics” of the mainstream media.
In a series of tweets Trump slammed the mainstream media as “Fake News” and accused members of the press of intentionally falsifying stories to present he and his administration in a bad light.
“With all of the success that our Country is having, including the just released jobs numbers which are off the charts, the Fake News & totally dishonest Media concerning me and my presidency has never been worse. Many have become crazed lunatics who have given up on the TRUTH!” the president tweeted.
“The Fake News will knowingly lie and demean in order make the tremendous success of the Trump Administration, and me, look as bad as possible,” the president continued. “They use non-existent sources & write stories that are total fiction. Our Country is doing so well, yet this is a sad day in America!”
In yet another tweet, Trump slammed the press as the “enemy of the people” and the “opposition party,” reiterating claims he had made once before.
“The Fake News Media in our Country is the real Opposition Party. It is truly the Enemy of the People! We must bring honesty back to journalism and reporting!” he wrote.
The president’s attack on the press follows mounting tensions inside the White House as the partial government shutdown enters its third week.
The shutdown was prompted when Democrats refused to approve $5 billion in funding to build a wall along the border between the United States and Mexico.
Trump, who campaigned heavily on a promise to secure the southern border during his 2016 presidential election, says the shutdown may go on indefinitely until Democrats approve the funds necessary to build the wall.