"The President refuses to understand that the Department of Homeland Security is constrained by the laws."
Last Friday during President Donald Trump's visit to the Southern border he held a roundtable during which he appeared to read what he said was a new "statement," which he directed to migrants wanting to come to the U.S. from Central America. That new policy was to tell them the United States is "full."
TRUMP: "This is our new statement- the system is full. We can't take you anymore. Whether it's asylum or anything you want - illegal immigration - we can't take you anymore. Our country is full. Our area is full. The sector is full. Can't take you anymore, I'm sorry. Turn around" pic.twitter.com/W1Bjnnf7UR
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 5, 2019
Of course, that's false, there is plenty of room in the U.S., and in fact the current birthrate is 16% below "replacement."
But as CNN reports, not only did Trump publicly proclaim the U.S. is full, he held private conversations "behind the scenes" with Border Patrol agents during which "the President told border agents to not let migrants in."
That is illegal, especially if they are seeking asylum, as Secretary Nielsen had told Trump two weeks prior. The White House counsel had supported Secretary Nielsen's reading of the law.
The President appeared to not care, as he coached the Border Patrol agents on committing an apparent illegal act.
"Tell them we don't have the capacity, he said," CNN reports Trump said. "If judges give you trouble, say, "'Sorry, judge, I can't do it. We don't have the room.'"
That would be a lie, and judges obviously would know it was a lie.
Once the President "left the room, agents sought further advice from their leaders, who told them they were not giving them that direction and if they did what the President said they would take on personal liability. You have to follow the law, they were told."
"At the end of the day," a senior administration official told CNN, "the President refuses to understand that the Department of Homeland Security is constrained by the laws."
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