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President Trump wants Congress to pass legislation to reform U.S. immigration laws — except when he doesn’t.
“Congress must pass smart, fast and reasonable Immigration Laws now,” Trump tweeted on Thursday. “Law Enforcement at the Border is doing a great job, but the laws they are forced to work with are insane.”
“When people, with or without children, enter our Country, they must be told to leave without our Country being forced to endure a long and costly trial,” the president continued. “Tell the people ‘OUT,’ and they must leave, just as they would if they were standing on your front lawn. Hiring thousands of ‘judges’ does not work and is not acceptable – only Country in the World that does this!”
Trump added: “Congress – FIX OUR INSANE IMMIGRATION LAWS NOW!”
Yet less than two weeks ago, the president suggested that the Republican-controlled Congress wait until the midterm elections to fix them.
“Republicans should stop wasting their time on Immigration until after we elect more Senators and Congressmen/women in November,” Trump tweeted on June 22, two days after signing an executive order to stop separating families at the border, which he said would “be matched by legislation.”
“Dems are just playing games, have no intention of doing anything to solves this decades old problem. We can pass great legislation after the Red Wave!” Trump declared.
Yet two days later, the president was back to urging lawmakers on the left to act. “Democrats, fix the laws,” he tweeted.
Trump preceded that tweet with a call to roll back due process for those who cross the border illegally. The mixed messages come as his administration has struggled to rein in the blowback from its policy of separating children from their parents when families illegally enter the U.S.
On June 27, Trump made an emphatic plea for GOP members of Congress to pass a “compromise” bill — introduced by Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va. — that would have given immigrants eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program temporary legal status for six years, funding for the border wall and allowed migrant families to be detained together indefinitely.
“HOUSE REPUBLICANS SHOULD PASS THE STRONG BUT FAIR IMMIGRATION BILL, KNOWN AS GOODLATTE II, IN THEIR AFTERNOON VOTE TODAY, EVEN THOUGH THE DEMS WON’T LET IT PASS IN THE SENATE,” Trump tweeted in all caps. “PASSAGE WILL SHOW THAT WE WANT STRONG BORDERS & SECURITY WHILE THE DEMS WANT OPEN BORDERS = CRIME. WIN!”
Three days later, Trump falsely claimed he made no such pea.
“I never pushed the Republicans in the House to vote for the Immigration Bill, either GOODLATTE 1 or 2, because it could never have gotten enough Democrats as long as there is the 60 vote threshold.” the president tweeted. “I released many prior to the vote knowing we need more Republicans to win in Nov.”
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders was asked by a reporter why the president would “lie” about his public advocacy for the legislation.
“He didn’t,” Sanders said, insisting that Trump “wasn’t aggressively lobbying” lawmakers.
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