Trump: Only ‘Those with the Lowest I.Q.’ Might Come Back to Immigration Court

By Melanie Arter | October 23, 2020 | 12:28pm EDT
 President Donald Trump speaks during the final presidential debate at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, on October 22, 2020. (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
President Donald Trump speaks during the final presidential debate at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, on October 22, 2020. (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) – President Donald Trump defended his decision to end the practice of catch and release in the last presidential debate in Nashville, Tenn., on Thursday against claims by Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden that illegal immigrants who are released and given a court date show up for immigration court.

“The catch and release. Do you know what he's talking about there? If in fact you had a family that came across. They were arrested. They in fact were given a date to show up for their hearing. They were released, and guess what, they showed up for a hearing,” Biden said.


“This is the first president in the history of the United States of America that’s anybody seeking asylum has to do it in another country. That's never happened before in America. That's never happen before in America. You come to the United States, and you make your case that I seek asylum based on the following premise - why I deserve it under American law. They're sitting in squalor on the other side of the river,” he said.

The president said he terminated catch and release, because it was “a disaster.”

“It just shows that he has no understanding of immigration of the laws. Catch and release is a disaster. A murderer would come in. A rapist would come in. A very bad person would come in. We would take their name. We have to release them into our country, and then you say they come back. Less than 1% of the people come back,” Trump said.

“Not true,” Biden interjected.

“We have to send ICE out and Border Patrol out to find them. We would say come back in two years, three years. We're going to give you a court case. You need Perry Mason. We're going to give you a court case. When you say they come back, they don't come back, Joe. They never come back. Only the really, I hate to say this, but those with the lowest I.Q., they might come back,” Trump said.

Debate moderator NBC White House Correspondent Kristen Welker asked Biden why voters should trust his immigration overhaul given that during the Obama-Biden administration, he failed to deliver immigration reform, which was a key promise during the administration. 

She noted that the Obama administration “presided over record deportations as well as family detentions at the border before changing course.”

Biden acknowledged that the Obama administration “made a mistake,” adding that “it took too long to get it right.”

He said he would seek a pathway to citizenship for 11 illegal immigrants within 100 days in office and recertify DACA kids so they can stay in the country and establish a pathway to citizenship for them.

“I'll be president of the United States, not vice president of the United States and the fact is I've made it very clear. Within 100 days, I'll send to the United States Congress a pathway to citizenship for over 11 million undocumented people. And all of those so-called dreamers, those DACA kids, they're going to be immediately certified again to be able to stay in this country and put on a path to citizenship,” the former vice president said.

“The idea that they are being sent home by this guy, and they want to do that is they're going to a country they've never seen before. I can imagine, you're 5 years old. Your parents are taking you across the Rio Grande River, and it's illegal. And you say, oh, no, mom. Leave me here. I’m not going to go with you. They've been here. Many of them are model citizens. Over 20,000 of them are first responders out there taking care of people during this crisis. We owe them,” Biden said. 

Trump pointed out that Biden had eight years to do what he said, but “he did nothing, except build cages to keep children in.”

Below is a partial transcript of the exchange:

 

WELKER: Let me ask you about your immigration policy, Mr. Vice president. The Obama administration did fail to deliver immigration reform which had been a key promise during the administration. It also presided over record deportations as well as family detentions at the border before changing course. So Why should voters trust with you an immigration overhaul now? 

BIDEN: Because we made a mistake. It took too long to get it right, took too long to get it right. I'll be president of the United States, not vice president of the United States and The fact is I've made it very clear. Within 100 days, I'll send to the United States Congress a pathway to citizenship for over 11 million undocumented people. And all of those so-called dreamers, those DACA kids, they're going to be immediately certified again to be able to stay in this country and put on a path to citizenship. 

The idea that they are being sent home by this guy, and they want to do that is they're going to a country they've never seen before. I can imagine, you're 5 years old. Your parents are taking you across the Rio Grande River, and it's illegal. And you say, oh, no, mom. Leave me here. I’m not going to go with you. They've been here. Many of them are model citizens. Over 20,000 of them are first responders out there taking care of people during this crisis. We owe them. We owe them. 

TRUMP: He had eight years to do what he said he was going to do. And I've changed -- without having a specific-- we got rid of catch and release. We got rid of a lot of horrible things that they put in and that they lived with but He had eight years he was vice president. He did nothing, except build cages to keep children in. 

WELKER: Vice president Biden, your response? 

BIDEN: Wrong. The catch and release. Do you know what he's talking about there? If in fact you had a family that came across. They were arrested. They in fact were given a date to show up for their hearing. They were released, and guess what, they showed up for a hearing. This is the first president in the history of the United States of America that’s anybody seeking asylum has to do it in another country. That's never happened before in America. That's never happen before in America. You come to the United States and you make your case that I seek asylum based on the following premise - why I deserve it under American law. They're sitting in squalor on the other side of the river. 

TRUMP: It just shows that he has no understanding of immigration of the laws. Catch and release is a disaster. A murderer would come in. A rapist would come in. A very bad person would come in. We would take their name. We have to release them into our country, and then you say they come back. Less than 1% of the people come back. 

BIDEN: Not true.

TRUMP: We have to send I.C.E. out and Border Patrol out to find them. We would say come back in two years, three years. We're going to give you a court case. You need Perry Mason. We're going to give you a court case. When you say they come back, they don't come back, Joe. They never come back. Only the really, I hate to say this, but those with the lowest I.Q., they might come back. 

WELKER: Okay, President Trump. Let's give Vice President Biden a chance to respond. Your response. 

BIDEN: What he's saying is simply not true. 
 
TRUMP: Check it out. We don't have to worry about it. I terminated it. 

BIDEN: You have 525 kids not knowing where in god's name where they're going to be and lost their parents. 

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