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Trump calls out Democrats for support of migrant caravan headed toward southern border
Evan El-Amin / Shutterstock.com
“All of Honduras wants to come here,” explained members of the massive immigrant caravan en route to the southern U.S. border. But not if President Donald Trump can help it.
The president has doubled down on his stiff immigration stance, pressuring foreign and domestic leaders and threatening to shut down the border as a massive wave of thousands of unruly migrants heads to the U.S. Trump’s warnings come just two weeks ahead of a midterm election in which illegal immigration promises to be a hot-button issue on the minds of many American voters.
Stemming the tide
In a series of tweets on Thursday, President Trump accused Democrats of orchestrating the latest migrant wave and called on the leaders of Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico to stop the caravan in its tracks.
“The assault on our country at our Southern Border, including the Criminal elements and DRUGS pouring in, is far more important to me, as President, than Trade or the USMCA,” Trump tweeted. Later, at a Montana campaign rally for Republican Senate candidate Matt Rosendale, Trump accused Democrats of using the latest immigration crisis to their political advantage ahead of the midterm election.
“A lot of money has been passing to people to come up and try and get to the border by Election Day, because they think that’s a negative for us,” the president said, referring to a viral video showing suspected political activists handing out cash to members of the migrant caravan lined up to receive donations.
Meanwhile, Congressional Democrats have refused to negotiate on several pieces of legislation tied to immigration reform, including a proposal from Senate Republicans to draft a bipartisan bill that could effectively end family separation crisis. GOP lawmakers even promised to keep the draft legislation simple by not tying it to broader immigration reform, but their Democratic colleagues refused to budge and said that the issue is for the president alone to fix.
In other words, liberals in Washington are unwilling to let the GOP take the credit for fixing an issue so central to their legislative agenda. The lack of cooperation compelled the president to call Democrats “obstructionists” and implore Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer (NY) and Nancy Pelosi (CA) to help him find a solution to the problem.
If the Democrats would stop being obstructionists and come together, we could write up and agree to new immigration laws in less than one hour. Look at the needless pain and suffering that they are causing. Look at the horrors taking place on the Border. Chuck & Nancy, call me!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 20, 2018
But rather than come together to address a humanitarian crisis, Pelosi and Schumer issued a joint statement accusing Trump of being “desperate to change the subject from health care to immigration.”
Help from abroad
At least foreign leaders are willing to help the president solve the latest immigration crisis. After Trump threatened “to stop all payments” to Central American countries unless they did something to halt the migrant caravan, and after calling on Mexico “in the strongest terms” to do something, the flood of immigrants appears to have slowed to a trickle.
Mexican authorities seemed to successfully stem the human tide at a bridge crossing along the Guatemala-Mexico border on Friday. However, thousands circumvented the wall of federal Mexican police by swimming or taking ferries across the muddy Suchiate River instead.
On Sunday, the migrant caravan swelled to massive numbers once again as undeterred Central Americans regrouped and resumed their steady march northward. Equally unflinching are GOP lawmakers in dozens of crucial races across America who hope to convince their constituents that — unless they show up to the polls in November — this may be the beginning of a long, unending trail of immigrants who can’t be stopped.
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