President Trump praised Italy’s prime minister Monday for taking a tough stand on illegal immigration in Europe, saying other nations in the region should follow his example.
“He’s a man who’s doing a fantastic job,” Mr. Trump said of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on his first visit to the White House. “I agree very much with what he’s doing on migration and illegal immigration and even legal immigration.”
Mr. Conte’s coalition government has prevented some ships with migrants from entering Italy’s ports, and he is pushing the European Union for more help in tacking illegal immigration as a bloc.
“I know he’s taken a very firm stance on the border a stance few countries have taken and frankly he’s doing the right thing, in my opinion,” Mr. Trump said. “A lot of other countries in Europe should be doing it also.”
Mr. Conte wrote recently to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and to EU officials asking them to mediate with other EU countries to accept migrants in other countries, not just their port of arrival.
Italy estimates that it spent about $5 billion on migrants in 2017, while receiving far less in aid from EU to deal with the problem.