(CNSNews.com) - “American politicians should protect American citizens, not criminal aliens,” President Donald Trump said Friday in a speech at the 2018 Project Safe Neighborhoods Conference in Kansas City, Mo.
“American politicians should protect American citizens, not criminal aliens. Not one more American life should be stolen because of radical politicians pursuing their open borders agenda,” Trump said.
He said more people are rejecting sanctuary cities, which protect criminal illegal immigrants from deportation.
Trump began his speech by praising William Barr, who served as attorney general for former President George H.W. Bush, and announcing that Trump is nominating Barr to replace Jeff Sessions as U.S. attorney general.
“I was also thrilled to announce today that I am nominating ... William Barr to take the helm as our new attorney general. He’s an outstanding man. Bill previously led the Justice Department with distinction as attorney general under George H.W. Bush, following his unanimous confirmation by the United States Senate,” Trump said.
“During his tenure, he demonstrated an unwavering adherence to the rule of law, which the people in this room like to hear. There’s no one more capable or qualified for this role. He deserves overwhelming bipartisan support. I suspect he’ll probably get it,” he said.
The president touted Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative, which brings together stakeholders and leaders at the federal, state, and local levels to identify and solve the most pressing violent crime problems in communities.
“We’re here today to restore one of the most effective crime prevention strategies in America - Project Safe Neighborhoods. This initiative brings law enforcement, community groups, and local leaders together to get the most violent criminals in the most dangerous areas off the streets and behind bars. After many years of neglect, we are bringing back this lifesaving program stronger than ever before,” Trump said.
“Today is the first nationwide meeting of Project Safe Neighborhoods in eight years, and here with us is the man who started this visionary project all the way back in 2001, former Attorney General John Ashcroft,” he said.
“The amazing results of Project Safe Neighborhood proves just how critical it is to foster cooperation among law enforcement at every single level of government. Nowhere is this cooperation more important than when it comes to enforcing our nation’s immigration laws,” the president said.
“Everyday our brave ICE officers are working with the state and local partners to get some of the world’s most violent criminals off our streets, and we get them the hell out of our country. We get them out,” he said.
“Since I took office, ICE agents have arrested over 235,00 aliens with criminal records. Think of that 235,000, and then you have a lot on the Democrat side. They’re saying, ‘We don’t want to respect ICE. We want to get rid of ICE.’ We’re not getting rid of ICE. They’re going to be with us. They’re heroes,” Trump said.
“Think of that though - 235,000. That includes those charged and convicted of more than 100,000 assaults and over 4,000 murders. Last year alone, ICE and Border Patrol seized more than 2.8 million pounds of illicit narcotics, and we have quadrupled the seizures of fentanyl, and now with our new deal with President Xi of China, maybe we won’t have to worry about that so much. I think you’re going to see that coming down at numbers that are pretty unbelievable,” he said.
“Removing these deadly poisons and vicious predators from our neighborhoods depends upon partnerships with local communities and their elected leaders and officials. Unfortunately, there are extreme politicians in cities and states across America …. who have issued policies to forbid their police departments from working with federal immigration authorities,” the president said.
“These outrageous sanctuary cities are grave threats to public safety and national security. Each year, sanctuary cities release thousands of known criminals from their custody and right back into the community. So they put them in, and they have them, and they let them go, and it drives you people a little bit crazy, doesn’t it, huh? But it’s changing,” he said.
The president said the amount of money that could be spent building a border wall would save billions compared to what heroin is costing the country.
“Nearly 100 percent of the heroin in our country comes across the southern border, killing 300 Americans at least a week,” he said. “According to the Council of Economic Advisors, heroin costs our country $238 billion in 2016 alone. Think of that. We’re talking about a wall for $20 billion, $15 billion. I can even do it cheaper if I have to, and it will be better than anybody’s ever seen a wall. Think of that.
“We’re talking about hundreds of billions of dollars, and you’re talking about a fraction. You’d make it up in a month, a month by having a proper wall. You see what’s happening. You see where they’re surging, and our great people are able to easily handle it. Without the wall, it gets tougher, but you know what? They still handle it,” Trump said.
The president called illegal immigration “a threat to the well-being of every American community.” He said it threatens “innocent families,” overwhelms “public resources” and drains the federal treasury.
“Congress must fully fund border security in the year ending funding bill. We have to get this done. They’re playing games. They’re playing political games. I actually think the politics of what they’re doing is very bad for them, but we’re going to very soon find out. Maybe I’m not right, but usually I’m right like I said I’m gonna win for president. And some people said that won’t happen, and guess what. Look who’s up here now folks,” he said.
Fully funding border security should include ICE officers and attorneys, Border Patrol agents, detention beds, equipment, technology, and the wall,” the president said.
Trump also accused “the fake media” of trying to minimize the impact of the migrant caravans crossing the border.
“When you see these caravans of thousands and thousands of people. They like to minimize it on the fake news, but you know you have tremendous amounts of people coming up, and it’s incredible, and oftentimes they’ll keep the cameras low. I know every trick. They’ve taught me,” he said.
“They’ll put women and children in the front row, and they’ll have those cameras nice and low so number one, it doesn’t look like a big crowd, and number two, all you see is women and children. And they say, ‘You’re such bad people.’ I’m such a bad person, but behind that front couple rows, got some tough, tough people,” the president said.
“You saw the mayor of Tijuana. He said, ‘These are tough people. You talk to them, and we end up in fights. These are tough people.’ We don’t want them coming into our country. We want great people coming in. Some of them would be great people. We need people, because we have so many companies coming into our country,” he added.
The president pointed to the low unemployment numbers and the influx of car companies like Fiat Chrysler, as a sign that the country needs more workers, including legal immigrants, to fill the jobs of all the companies that are moving to the U.S.
“Car companies are pouring in. They’re all coming in. Big announcement by Fiat Chrysler the other day. They’re going to move into Michigan with a massive new plant. A lot of things are happening. We need people at 3.7 percent unemployment, but they have to be brought in the legal way, and … we talk merit. We want to bring them in through merit. We want people that can love our country and people that can help our country,” he said.