President Donald Trump of the United States has defended his policy of splitting up families entering the US illegally, defying a growing chorus of condemnation.
Speaking at a business convention on Tuesday, President Trump said children had to be taken away if their parents were jailed for illegally crossing the US border.
Trump Defends His Anti-Immigration Policies
He said, “I don’t want children taken away from parents. When you prosecute the parents for coming in illegally – which should happen – you have to take the children away.”
The President said he wanted to “end the border crisis” by giving border officials the resources to “detain and remove illegal immigrant families altogether.”
President Trump had earlier sparked outrage for tweeting that undocumented immigrants would “infest” the US.
Under the “zero-tolerance” crackdown that the Trump administration rolled out in May, all border crossers – including first-time offenders – are criminally charged and jailed.
Migrant children are not permitted to be incarcerated with their parents, and are kept in separate facilities maintained by the Department of Health and Human Services.