by Mike DeBonis and John Wagner June 19 at 1:35 PM Email the author
As he prepared to visit Capitol Hill, President Trump continued to insist Tuesday that Congress produce comprehensive immigration legislation, while anxious Republicans explored a narrower fix to the administration’s policy of separating migrant children from their parents.
Speaking to a business group in Washington, Trump decried “the illegal immigration crisis on our Southern border,” adding: “All we need is good legislation, and we can have it taken care of. We have to get the Democrats to go ahead and work with us.”
The message came as Trump was scheduled to visit Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill on Tuesday evening to lobby them on immigration legislation that would provide billions of dollars for his long-sought border wall and other security priorities. With his administration unwilling to unilaterally reverse its separation policy, that legislation could represent the best opportunity to bring an end to the turmoil.
Amid a public outcry, Republicans are also planning to defy the White House by crafting legislation to ease the effects of the administration policy of dividing families. Republicans and Democrats have criticized the practice as inhumane and un-American.
The Department of Homeland Security has said 2,342 children have been separated from their parents since last month.
[‘Gut-wrenching’ recording captures sounds of crying children separated from parents at the border]