In remarks to the National Federation of Independent Businesses on Tuesday, President Trump addressed the asylum crisis at the U.S. southern border and said the "fake news media" is helping child smugglers and traffickers.
"Keep in mind, those who apply for asylum, legally, at ports of entry, are not prosecuted," the president said. "The fake news media back there doesn’t talk about that. They’re fake. They are helping — they are helping these smugglers and these traffickers like nobody would believe. They know it. They know exactly what they’re doing and it should be stopped — because what’s going on is very unfair to the people of our country. And they violate the law. People that come in violate the law. They endanger their children in the process. And frankly, they endanger all of our children."
Trump said the "fake news media" is focusing on immigration because they want to keep the cameras away from Congressional hearings on the DOJ inspector general's report on James Comey.
"You ought to see the hearings that are right now on television but that folks are being — you know, they’re going on to the mainstream, fake news media." Trump said. "They want to focus on immigration because they want to keep the cameras away from the hearings because those hearings are not good for them. In fact, they’re a disaster for them. The whole thing is a scam. It’s a scam. And what’s happened is a disgrace."
PRESIDENT TRUMP: These loopholes have created a massive child smuggling trade. Can you believe this? In this day and age, we’re talking about child smuggling. We’re talking about women smuggling in this day and age. The worst it’s been in history — because the Internet has led to this. You think back 200, 500, 1,000 years ago — the worst it’s ever been. Women smuggling, child smuggling.
Since last year, child smugglers — who are very, very sophisticated — they’ve learned the loopholes in this horrible, rotten system that the Democrats have to help us fix because we need the votes. We could have the Republican votes, 100 percent. We still don’t have enough votes. People don’t understand that. We need Democrat votes to get it fixed.
These smugglers know these rules and regulations better than the people that drew them. As a result, there’s been a 325 percent increase in minors, and a 435 percent increase in the smuggling or attempted smuggling of families and minors into our country. We’re stopping them all the time by the thousands. But they still get through. We have no wall. We have no border security. Without a border, you don’t have a country. You don’t have a country. (Applause.)
Under current law, we have only two policy options to respond to this massive crisis: We can either release all illegal immigrant families and minors who show up at the border from Central America, or we can arrest the adults for the federal crime of illegal entry. Those are the only two options. Totally open borders or criminal prosecution for law breaking. And you want to be able to do that. We don’t want people pouring into our country. We want them to come in through the process, through the legal system. And we want, ultimately, a merit-based system where people come in based on merit. (Applause.)
Keep in mind, those who apply for asylum, legally, at ports of entry, are not prosecuted. The fake news media back there doesn’t talk about that. (Laughter and applause.) They’re fake. They are helping — they are helping these smugglers and these traffickers like nobody would believe. They know it. They know exactly what they’re doing and it should be stopped — because what’s going on is very unfair to the people of our country. And they violate the law. People that come in violate the law. They endanger their children in the process. And frankly, they endanger all of our children.
You see what happens with MS-13, where your sons and daughters are attacked violently. Kids that never even heard of such a thing are being attacked violently, not with guns, but with knives because it’s much more painful. Inconceivable — here we are talking about business — inconceivable that we even have to talk about MS-13 and other gangs. They attack violently, the most painful way possible. And a bullet is too quick. And we’re allowing these people into our country? Not with me. We’re taking them out by the thousands. (Applause.) We’re taking them out by the thousands.
So what I’m asking Congress to do is to give us a third option, which we have been requesting since last year — the legal authority to detain and promptly remove families together as a unit. We have to be able to do this. This is the only solution to the border crisis. We have to stop child smuggling. This is the way to do it.
And ultimately, we have to have a real border — not judges. Thousands and thousands of judges they want to hire. Who are these people? When we vet a single federal judge, it goes through a big process. Everybody that’s ever met her or him — they come, they complain, they don’t complain. They say he’s brilliant; she’s brilliant; he’s not smart enough to be a judge. Now we’re hiring thousands and thousands. What country does this? Judges. (Laughter.) I won’t say it. I refuse to say it. I hope they picked that up back there. (Laughter.) They won’t.