President Trump on Wednesday teased what he called “Phase Two” of his border deal with Mexico, saying much tougher measures are waiting in the wings if the new national police and immigration repatriation measures agreed to last week don’t stop the flow of illegal immigrants.
During a meeting with the Polish prime minister, Mr. Trump also singled out acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan, wondering why he was at the White House rather than down on the border overseeing efforts.
The president continued to tout his new deal with Mexico, marking a reversal after months of complaining about lack of action from America’s southern neighbor.
He said he expects good results from the deal reached last week in which Mexico promised to deploy 6,000 new national police to its southern border region, and to agree to expand a program to hold onto Central American asylum seekers while their cases proceed in the U.S.
Mr. Trump has suggested that there’s also a secret side-agreement that could take effect if those announced measures aren’t enough. Mexico has denied such a secret addendum, but Mr. Trump says it exists, and he’s waiting for the right time to talk about it.
“Right now Mexico is helping us more on immigration than the Democrats in the U.S., the president said.
He has asked Congress for an emergency infusion of $4.5 billion to provide better care for the children and families surging at the border.
He’s also asked Congress to alter the policies that serve as an incentive to the new surge, such as a 2015 court ruling that requires illegal immigrant families to be released within 20 days of their capture.
That’s become a free pass to enter the U.S., with more than 60 percent of the illegal traffic last month made up of families.
Mr. McAleenan made that case directly to Congress this week, testifying in favor of legislation to close down that family “loophole.” He said that, coupled with other tweaks, could solve 70% to 90% of the border problem.
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