President Trump defended the zero tolerance policy on Tuesday saying he doesn't feel there's any choice.
Trump spoke at the National Federation of Independent Businesses 75th Anniversary Celebration telling the small business group that he feels compelled to take children away from their families at the border in order to follow through on prosecuting illegal border jumpers. Trump went on to blame reporters for being complicit with human smugglers carrying the children to the border.
“You have to take the children away,” he said.
The president is facing criticism from both Congressional Democrats and Republicans, demanding that he stop the separation but Trump portrayed the situation on the border as a choice between catch-and-release.
“We don’t have to prosecute them, but then you’re not prosecuting them for coming in illegally. That’s not right,” he said.
Mr. Trump says Congress should give him a third option: the ability to hold families in detention as a unit. He sees that as a way to keep the families under custody for their deportation hearings but will keep them together if one parent has to go to jail.
President Trump will visit with House Republicans later Tuesday, where he said he’ll get briefed on the immigration bill that will soon get voted on and then will demand alterations.
“I’m going to make changes,” he said. “We have one chance to get it right.”
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