President Donald Trump warned Democrats that if they don’t help him pass new immigration laws, they might be watching a new Republican majority pass them after the 2020 election.
During an address at the White House, Trump outlined his plan to overhaul the immigration system in the United States.
As IJR previously reported, the southern border has been in a state of crisis as Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facilities hit capacity and Border Patrol agents are forced to release migrants into the country while they await trial. More than 1 percent of the populations of Honduras and Guatemala have already arrived in the U.S., and the flow of migrants doesn’t seem to be slowing down.
Trump proposed securing the border and changing U.S. immigration policy to a merit-based system instead of a family-based system, along with other major changes to the immigration laws in the U.S.
His message to Democrats was clear: get to work on new immigration laws or get prepared to lose re-election.
“Many of the Democrats have claimed to be for these concepts at different times in their careers — and, in many cases, in very recent history. And I hope that they will end up joining me and all of the people gathered together today in putting politics aside, putting security and wages first, and pursuing these historic reforms. It’s time. And if for some reason — possibly political — we can’t get the Democrats to approve this merit-based, high-security plan, then we will get it approved immediately after the election when we take back the House, keep the Senate, and, of course, hold the presidency.”
The president joked that he hoped it wouldn’t take until 2021 for Democrats to move forward with Republicans on immigration reform.
“Wouldn’t it be nice to do it sooner than that?” Trump joked. “But it’s not a very long time, is it? Sixteen months.”
Trump noted that he sees his proposal as a major overhaul to the immigration system. While he acknowledged that his plan could take a long time to approve, he would support slimmer legislative packages — like Sen. Lindsey Graham’s (R-S.C.) recent plan — in the meantime.