AP NEWS

Dems blast ‘heartless’ Trump border security plans

April 3, 2019

Top Democrats offered their solutions to the border crisis Wednesday, saying the surge of illegal immigrants from Central America can be solved by sending more money to the region, and by shifting resources here at home.

Those plans, revealed in a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, fall well short of the crisis mentality the Trump administration says is needed to deal with more than 100,000 illegal immigrants nabbed at the border in March along.

The Democrats who chair key committees and subcommittees said President Trump has botched the issue from the start, focusing on a border wall that seemed more aimed at solving the illegal immigrant flows of two decades ago, rather than the new surge of children and families streaming north from Central America.

They discounted the lax enforcement policies most security experts say are drawing illegal immigrants north, and said the answer lies instead in rough conditions in Central America that are pressuring people to leave.

“Rather than learning from its mistakes, the Trump Administration is doubling down by threatening to shut down the border while asking Congress to implement heartless measures ostensibly to deter children and families who are lawfully presenting themselves to border personnel and requesting asylum protection,” the Democratic lawmakers said.

They asked Ms. Nielsen to work with them on better “allocating” personnel to speed up welcoming of people at the border, and then working on nation-building in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

“Unfortunately, President Trump has acted in bad faith on this issue since day one and continues to do so today,” the Democrats said. “When his administration and your department are ready to engage Congress in good faith on thoughtful, specific solutions to this challenge, we stand ready to engage with you.”