Trump pushes back against border separation uproar
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump cast doubt Friday on wrenching tales of migrant children separated from their families at the border, dismissing “phony stories of sadness and grief” while asserting the real victims of the nation’s immigration crisis are Americans killed by those who cross the border unlawfully.
Bombarded with criticism condemning the family-separation situation as a national moment of shame, Trump came back firing, sometimes twisting facts and changing his story but nonetheless highlighting the genuine grief of families on the other side of the equation.
“You hear the other side, you never hear this side,” said Trump, standing with a dozen of what he calls the “angel families” who lost loved ones at the hands of people in the country illegally.
He focused on the fact that young migrants separated from parents are likely to be reunited, unlike the victims of murders.
“These are the American citizens permanently separated from their loved ones. The word ‘permanently’ being the word that you have to think about. Permanently — they’re not separated for a day or two days, these are permanently separated because they were killed by criminal illegal aliens”.
Amid mushrooming bipartisan concern over depictions of terrified migrant children separated from their parents, Trump on Wednesday had abruptly reversed course and signed an executive order to overturn the policy, although up to 2,000 children are still believed to be separated from their parents.
But that rare moment of public capitulation was brief from the president, who laced his remarks at a rally in Minnesota that night with hardline immigration rhetoric that continued Friday.
In a tweet, the president raised questions about whether the migrants’ hardships really existed.