Remarks by President Trump on the Illegal Immigration Crisis and Border Security | Eastern North Carolina Now

Press Release:

    Roosevelt Room  •  November 1, 2018  •  4:19 P.M. EDT

    THE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you very much, everyone. Appreciate it. And good afternoon. I would like to provide an update to the American people regarding the crisis on our southern border - and crisis it is.

    Illegal immigration affects the lives of all Americans. Illegal immigration hurts American workers; burdens American taxpayers; and undermines public safety; and places enormous strain on local schools, hospitals, and communities in general, taking precious resources away from the poorest Americans who need them most. Illegal immigration costs our country billions and billions of dollars each year.

    America is a welcoming country. And under my leadership, it's a welcoming country. We lead the world in humanitarian protection and assistance, by far. There's nobody even close. We have the largest and most expansive immigration programs anywhere on the planet.

    We've issued 40 million green cards since 1970, which means the permanent residency and a path to citizenship for many, many people. But we will not allow our generosity to be abused by those who would break our laws, defy our rules, violate our borders, break into our country illegally. We won't allow it.

    Mass, uncontrolled immigration is especially unfair to the many wonderful, law-abiding immigrants already living here who followed the rules and waited their turn. Some have been waiting for many years. Some have been waiting for a long time. They've done everything perfectly. And they're going to come in. At some point, they're going to come in. In many cases, very soon. We need them to come in, because we have companies coming into our country; they need workers. But they have to come in on a merit basis, and they will come in on a merit basis.

    The communities are often left to bear the cost and the influx of people that come in illegally. We can't allow that.

    There's a limit to how many people a nation can responsibly absorb into their societies. Every day, above and beyond our existing lawful admission programs, roughly 1,500 to 2,000 people try crossing our borders illegally. We do a very good job considering the laws are so bad. They're not archaic; they're incompetent. It's not that they're old; they're just bad. And we can't get any Democrat votes to change them. It's only the Republicans that are - in unison, they want to change them. They want to make strong borders, want to get rid of any crime because of the borders, of which there's a lot.


    And we've done a great job with the laws that we have. We're moving in tremendous numbers of people to get out the MS-13 gangs and others gangs that illegally come into our country. And we're getting them out by the thousands.

    But this is a perilous situation, and it threatens to become even more hazardous as our economy gets better and better. A lot of the cause of this problem is the fact that we right now have the hottest economy anywhere in the world. It's doing better than any economy in the world. Jobs, unemployment - you look at any number.

    Right now, we have more workers than any time in the history of our country. We have more people working, which is a tremendous statement. More people working than at any time in the history of our country. And people want to come in, and in some cases, they want to take advantage of that, and that's okay. And we want them to come in, but they have to come in through merit. They have to come in legally.

    At this very moment, large, well-organized caravans of migrants are marching towards our southern border. Some people call it an "invasion." It's like an invasion. They have violently overrun the Mexican border. You saw that two days ago. These are tough people, in many cases. A lot of young men, strong men. And a lot of men that maybe we don't want in our country. But again, we'll find that out through the legal process.

    But they've overrun the Mexican police, and they've overrun and hurt badly Mexican soldiers. So this isn't an innocent group of people. It's a large number of people that are tough. They've injured, they've attacked, and the Mexican police and military has actually suffered. And I appreciate what Mexico is trying to do.

    So let me begin by stating that these illegal caravans will not be allowed into the United States, and they should turn back now, because they're wasting their time. They should apply to come into our country. We want them to come into our country very much. We need people to help us, with all of these companies that are coming in. We've never had anything like this. We have car companies coming in. We have Foxconn - so involved with the manufacturing of Apple products - coming in in Wisconsin. We have a lot of companies coming in, but they have to apply, and they have to be wonderful people that are going to love our country and work hard.

    And we've already dispatched, for the border, the United States military. And they will do the job. They are setting up right now, and they're preparing. We hope nothing happens. But if it does, we are totally prepared. Greatest military anywhere in the world, and it's going to be, and is now, in great shape. No longer depleted like it was when I took over as the President of the United States.

    The government of Mexico has generously offered asylum, jobs, education, and medical care for people within the caravan, but many members of the caravan have refused these offers, which demonstrate that these migrants are not legitimate asylum-seekers. They're not looking for protection. Because if they were, they'd be able to get it from Mexico. Mexico has agreed to take them in and encouraged them to stay. But they don't want to stay; they want to come into the United States. So this is no longer safety, and asylum is about safety.

    Asylum is not a program for those living in poverty. There are billions of people in the world living at the poverty level. The United States cannot possibly absorb them all. Asylum is a very special protection intended only for those fleeing government persecution based on race, religion, and other protected status.

    These caravans and illegal migrants are drawn to our country by Democrat-backed laws and left-wing judicial rulings. We're getting rulings that are so ridiculous, so bad. They're writing the laws. Can't do that. Collectively known as - as an example, catch-and-release. It's a disgrace that we have to put up with it.

    These policies lead to the release of illegal aliens into our communities after they've been apprehended. But we're not releasing anymore. Big change, as of a couple of days ago. We're going to no longer release. We're going to catch; we're not going to release. They're going to stay with us until the deportation hearing or the asylum hearing takes place. So we're not releasing them into the community.


    We have millions of people that, over the years, have been released into the community. They never show up for the trials. They never come back. They're never seen again. And those people, they know who they are. And we know a lot of where they are, who they are. And those people will be deported, directly deported.

    The biggest loophole drawing illegal aliens to our borders is the use of fraudulent or meritless asylum claims to gain entry into our great country. An alien simply crosses the border illegally, finds a Border Patrol agent, and using well-coached language - by lawyers and others that stand there trying to get fees or whatever they can get - they're given a phrase to read. They never heard of the phrase before. They don't believe in the phrase. But they're given a little legal statement to read, and they read it. And now, all of a sudden, they're supposed to qualify. But that's not the reason they're here.

    This merely asserts the need for asylum, and then often released into the United States, and they await a lengthy court process. The court process will takes years sometimes for them to attend. Well, we're not releasing them into our country any longer. They'll wait for long periods of time. We're putting up massive cities of tents. The military is helping us incredibly well.

    I want to thank the Army Corps of Engineers. They've been so efficient, so good, so talented. And we have thousands of tents. We have a lot of tents; we have a lot of everything. We're going to hold them right there. We're not letting them into our country. And then they never show up - almost. It's like a level of 3 percent. They never show up for the trial. So by the time their trial comes, they're gone. Nobody knows where they are. But we know where a lot of them are, and they're going to be deported.

    There are now nearly 700,000 aliens inside the United States awaiting adjudication of their claims. Most of these people we have no idea how they got there, why they got there. And the number is actually going to be a much larger number as we look at all of the data. So if you look at just at a minimal number, it's the size of Vermont, or bigger. And the overall number could be 10 million people; it could be 12 million people; it could be 20 million people. The record keeping from past administrations has not exactly been very good.

    As human smugglers and traffickers have learned how the game is played and how to game the system, we have witnessed a staggering 1,700 [percent] increase in asylum claims since the year 2010. They understand the law better than the lawyers understand the law. You have a lot of professionalism there. You have a lot of professionalism involved with setting up the caravans. You take a look at the way that's happening. Even the countries - you look at Honduras and El Salvador, and you look at what's happening at the different levels and different countries, and what's happening on the streets. There's a lot of professionalism taking place, and there seems to be a lot of money passing. And then, all of a sudden, out of the blue, these big caravans are formed and they start marching up. They got a long way to go.

    On average, once released, an asylum case takes three and half years to complete. Think of it. Somebody walks into our country, reads a statement given by a lawyer, and we have a three-and-a-half-year court case for one person, whereas other people tell them, "Out. Get out. Just get out." Other countries - "Get out. We have a border. Get out."


    We go through years and years of litigation because of the Democrats and the incompetent, very, very stupid laws that we have. They're the laughingstock all over the world, including the people that are marching up. They understand. But the difference is, we're not allowing them in, and we're not releasing, and we're not doing any of the things that were done for so many years that really are terrible for our country.

    The overwhelming majority of claims are rejected by the courts, but by that time, the alien has usually long since disappeared into our country. So they never get to see the judge. They never get to have a ruling. They don't care because they're in the country and nobody knows where they are.

    All told, there are approximately 1 million aliens who have received final orders of removal. They've actually got final orders of removal. You don't have to go to court anymore. The courts have already issued the orders of removal, and we've gotten a lot of them. But who remain at large in our country. So we've moving them out.

    This endemic abuse of the asylum system makes a mockery of our immigration system, displacing legitimate asylum-seekers - and there are legitimate asylum-seekers - while rewarding those who abuse or defraud our system, which is almost everybody. Everybody is abusing it and just doing things to our system which were unthinkable, I'm sure even by the Democrats who were largely responsible for getting it done.

    These individuals disrespect the foundations of American government by voluntarily choosing to break the law as their first act on American soil.

    Furthermore, contained within this giant flow of illegal migration to our southwest border is the movement of illicit and deadly narcotics. It's in the southwest, most of it comes in. Nearly 100 percent of heroin in the United States enters through the southern border- think of that: 100 percent, almost, of heroin comes in through the southern border, along with roughly 90 percent of cocaine, and the majority of meth, and a substantial portion of the ultra-lethal fentanyl killing our youth. Fentanyl is killing our youth.

    These drugs destroy the lives and kill much more than 70,000 Americans every single year. And the number goes up. It goes up and up and up, because we are so foolish with our laws that we allow this to happen. A death toll equivalent of the size of an entire American city every year.
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