Earlier today President Trump tweeted his support for a plan to use sanctuary cities to house border crossers pending their asylum hearings:
In response to the tweet, President Trump was ask for additional commentary during a White House event to support 5G infrastructure development:
[Transcript] Q — can you tell us your plans about sanctuary cities and illegal migrants? (Inaudible.)
THE PRESIDENT: Well, you know, the people that are putting sanctuary cities where they’re not even wanted — because as you know, in California and other places, a lot of communities want to get out of sanctuary cities; they don’t want them. But they always seem to have open arms.
So we thought rather than moving the illegal immigrants to other parts of the country — first of all, we’re getting them and we’re doing the best we can with very bad laws. We have to change the laws. But we’re apprehending thousands and thousands of people a day, and the law only allows us to hold them, as you know, for 20 days because of the most ridiculous laws, probably, we have in this country.
If Ajit had laws like that for 5G, you wouldn’t have anything built. You’d never have the first cell put up.
But we have horrible, old-fashioned laws that are put in by the Democrats. We’re willing to change them. We can do it in — I used to say 45 minutes; we can do it in 15 minutes — whether it’s catch and release or chain migration or any of them.
The asylum laws are absolutely insane. They come up. In many cases, they’re rough gang members. In many cases, they’re people with tremendous crime records and they’re given a statement to read by lawyers that stand there waiting for them, “Read this statement.” And it says, “I have great fear for my life. I have great fear for being in my country.” Even though, in some cases, some of these people are holding their country’s flags and waving their country’s flags. And then they talk about the fear they have of being in the country — that the flag they were waving freely.
So we are looking at the possibility — strongly looking at it, to be honest with you. California, the governor wants to have a lot of people coming in, refugees coming in. A lot of sanctuary cities. So we’ll give them to the sanctuary cities, maybe, to take care of, if that’s the way they want it — because we can only hold them, under the current law, for 20 days. So we apprehend them by the thousands and thousands a day.
I have to say Border Patrol has been incredible. The job they’re doing is incredible. The wall is going up. It’s going up fairly rapidly. We’re doing another big section. We start another big section tomorrow. But we’re building miles and miles of wall.
And we’re going to have — I think we’ll be close to 400 miles built by the end of next year. We need that. Just got back from Texas, and some of the ranchers told me — you look at Brooks County, you look at other places — some of the ranchers told me you have bodies lying all over the land of people where the coyotes give them a can of soda and they give them a sandwich and they say, “Houston is 300 miles in that direction.” And the people don’t know what that means. That means they can’t make it. That means they have no chance and they die. It’s something I never heard. I never heard it to this extent. Many people die. And they’ll say, “Just head in that direction.”
And we are doing a lot about it. If we had the wall, we wouldn’t have that. If we had the wall, people wouldn’t be coming up. Mexico is now apprehending and bringing back to the various countries that we’re talking about — Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador — they’re bringing people back to those countries; Colombia, to a certain extent — and they’re going back to those countries.
But we could fix that and so fast if the Democrats would agree. But if they don’t agree, we might as well do what they always say they want: We’ll bring the illegal — really, you call them the “illegals.” I call them the “illegals.” They came across the border illegally. We’ll bring them to sanctuary city areas and let that particular area take care of it, whether it’s a state or whatever it might be.
California certainly is always saying, “Oh, we want more people.” And they want more people in their sanctuary cities. Well, we’ll give them more people. We can give them a lot. We can give them an unlimited supply. And let’s see if they’re so happy. They say, “We have open arms.” They’re always saying they have open arms. Let’s see if they have open arms.
The alternative is to change the laws, and we can do it very, very quickly, very easily. Okay? Okay?
♦ Q Are you asking for more troops on the border as well?
THE PRESIDENT: We’re going to put more troops on the border, yeah. We’re going to. And, you know, the thing is, our country is doing so well economically. We’re setting records that a lot of people are coming up for that reason. A lot of people are coming up for bad reasons too.
We have a lot of very, very bad people with big criminal records trying to get through. And the Border Patrol has done an incredible job with them. Those are our focus. They really have done a really incredible job. And when they have been through, and when they’ve been let through over the years — ICE — all over Long Island — and they come and they get them and they take them back, and we get them the hell out of here.
That’s happening all over our country. ICE. But the job that ICE and that, really, Border Patrol does is an incredible job. And law enforcement in this country is — the job they’re doing is really incredible.
You know, I don’t know if you saw the crime stats, but the statistics are that crime is way down in our country over the last year. Way, way down. And so that’s despite all of the problems we have at the border. And we’re straightening that out.
So, on sanctuary cities, as per your question, we are giving very strong consideration to having people — after a 20-day period — because, again you’re not allowed, legally, to hold them for more than that — we will move them into sanctuary cities.
Thank you very much everybody. Thank you.