'Our country is full': Trump says migrants straining system

by Garry Watts April 8, 2019, 1:45
'Our country is full': Trump says migrants straining system

President Donald Trump speaks as he visits a new section of the border wall with Mexico in Calexico, Calif., Friday April 5, 2019.

Trump accused lawyers of coaching the migrants on what to say at the US-Mexico border to request asylum, at one point imitating a migrant reading from a script.

"There is indeed an emergency on our southern border", Trump said at the briefing, adding that there had been a sharp uptick in illegal crossings.

Trump said the drug-related tariff would supplant provisions of a trade deal, the U.S. -Mexico-Canada Agreement, known as USMCA, which has not been approved by Congress.

"I never changed my mind at all".

Referring to a "colossal surge" of undocumented migrants, Mr Trump convened a discussion with immigration officials and local leaders in Calexico on the US-Mexico border just north of the much larger city of Mexicali. So the border wall works for us.

"A lot of people aren't even bringing too many suits anymore, a lot of people who are bringing suits, it's pretty hard for them to say it's not an emergency", he said.

"Mexico, understand that we are going to close the border or I'm going to tariff the cars", Trump said.

Six administration officials said Friday that the decision to jettison Vitiello was a sign of the expanding influence that Miller now wields over immigration matters in the White House, particularly as Trump lashes out at Mexico and Central American nations - as well as Homeland Security officials and aides who express doubts about the legality of his ideas.

It follows his threat to close the border between Mexico and the US.

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"However, if for any reason Mexico stops apprehending and bringing the illegals back to where they came from, the USA will be forced to Tariff at 25% all cars made in Mexico and shipped over the Border to us".

White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney on Sunday said on ABC News' "This Week" that it would take "something dramatic" for Trump to back down on his threat.

The southern border is almost 2,000 miles long and already has about 650 miles of different types of barriers, including short vehicle barricades and tall, steel fences up to 30 feet high.

Congress gave Trump about $1.375 billion in February to build 55 miles of new fencing, along the Rio Grande Valley area in Texas, although lawmakers restricted the construction to barrier designs that had already been deployed. His administration has only replaced existing fencing, including the section he is touring today.

And plans to renovate the barrier were started under the Obama administration in 2009.

He's also scheduled to visit Los Angeles.

Trump made the comments during a speech to the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas, Nevada.

According to the 48-page lawsuit document, besides California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin joined the motion.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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