(CNSNews.com) - The ICE raids conducted at food processing plants in Mississippi Wednesday that ended with almost 700 arrests serve as “a good deterrent” to illegal immigration, President Donald Trump told reporters Friday.
When asked why there wasn’t a better plan in place to deal with the migrant children in Mississippi and why there was family separation, Trump said, “The reason is because you have to go in.
“You can’t let anybody know. Otherwise, when you get there, nobody will be there, but a big factor is to let people outside of the country that want to come in legally -- illegally into our country, where they come in in caravans where they surge the border -- which, by the way, we have the numbers way down right now, if you see, because Mexico has done a fantastic job,” he said prior to leaving for Westhampton Beach, N.Y.
“Mexico has 26,000 soldiers, right now, on the border. They have been fantastic -- because of tariffs, but I don’t care what it is, because Mexico -- in fact, I’ll be calling the president at a certain point. I just hope they keep it up, because if the Democrats will change the laws -- which I was thinking about putting together, as you know, with the gun situation,” Trump said.
“So we have immigration and we have, let’s say, some of the things we’re talking about right now -- you have them together, but I want people to know that if they come into the United States illegally, they’re getting out. They’re going to be brought out, and this serves as a very good deterrent. If people come into our country illegally, they’re going out,” the president said.
“They’re not coming in illegally and staying. We have bad laws. They may get in -- although we're being very tough -- but they may get in, but it doesn’t matter because they’re going out, and when people see what they saw yesterday, and like they will see for a long time, they know that they’re not staying here,” he said.
The raids were criticized by Democrats like Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), who tweeted Wednesday, “Don’t look away—the Trump Administration is continuing to terrorize immigrants and separate families. This is a moment of moral crisis in our country—we must do better.”
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) said the raids “are designed to tear families apart, spread fear, and terrorize communities.”
She tweeted a video Thursday of a Latino girl crying as she and other Latino children were waiting for their parents to pick them up.
“These children went to daycare and are now returning home without their parents because Trump wants to play politics with their lives,” Harris tweeted.
She later told CNN:
“These most recent raids hundreds of people who are now separated from their families for at least 24 hours and causing people in our country to be in fear and in particular the Latino community. People are in fear all over the country.
When you combine those raids with what just happened in El Paso, and again, do you think that this administration and this president might step back and say wait a minute, after what just happened in El Paso, when it was motivated by hate against immigrants and Latino immigrants, do you think that a responsible leader would have said, don’t do those raids?
It shows a level of insensitivity and callousness. That should not be traits of the president of the United States.