Jeff Merkley blames Donald Trump for illegal immigration surge
Sen. Jeff Merkley said Friday President Trump is creating the surge of illegal immigrants on the U.S.-Mexico border, adding that more people from Central America try to cross whenever he talks about closing the boundary.
“If you asked the folks throughout Central America, why are a significant number more coming now then then came a few months ago, and the answer is President Trump’s threats to use national security emergency to seal the border. So every time he talks about sealing the border, it produces a surge,” the Oregon Democrat said on CNN’s “New Day” show.
The senator also called child-separation policies “evil” and implored the president to shut down additional detention facilities for minors.
Mr. Trump backed off threats to close the border Thursday, saying he would introduce tariffs instead to scare Mexico into doing more to combat the smuggling of drugs and people.
However, he added he’s still opening to shutting down the border after a year grace period.
White House Strategic Communications Director Mercedes Schlapp said Tuesday the number of people at the border is “overwhelming the system” and causing a “national security crisis.”
Ms. Schlapp said the administration’s threat to close the border is one of the “little choices” left to deal with illegal immigration.