Trump: We Don’t Have Immigration Laws - ‘We Have Catch and Release’

By Melanie Arter | April 3, 2018 | 4:12pm EDT

( - During a joint press conference with leaders of the Baltic states, President Donald Trump complained Tuesday that the United States lacked immigration laws, saying instead it has catch and release, which allows illegals to roam free about the country.

To this end, the president plans to meet with Defense Secretary Gen. James Mattis about putting the U.S. military on the U.S-Mexico border.


When asked to clarify his earlier comments about having the military guard the border, Trump said, “The border, the Mexican border is very unprotected by our laws. We have horrible, horrible, and very unsafe laws in the United States, and we’re going to be able to do something about that hopefully soon.

“Hopefully Congress will get their act together and get in and create some very powerful laws like Mexico has and like Canada has and like almost all countries have. We don’t have laws. We have catch and release. You catch, and then you immediately release, and people come back years later for a court case, except they virtually never come back,” he said.

“So what we are preparing for the military to secure our border between Mexico and the United States, we have a meeting on it in a little while with General Mattis and everybody, and I think it’s something we have to do,” the president added.

Trump also addressed the caravan of illegals from Honduras on its way to the United States.

“Now the caravan, which is over a thousand people coming in from Honduras thought that they’re going to just walk right through Mexico and through the border,” he said, adding that he told Mexico to not let the caravan get up to the U.S.-Mexico border, “and I think they’re doing that, because as of 12 minutes ago, it was all being broken up.”

“We’ll see what happens, but we have to have strong borders. We need the wall. We’ve started building the wall. As you know, we have $1.6 billion toward building the wall and fixing existing wall that’s falling down. It was never appropriate in the first place, and that’s very important,” Trump said.

He also pointed out that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has been “a phenomenal deal for Mexico” but “a horrible deal for the United States.”

“We’re renegotiating it now, but it’s been a horrible, horrible, embarrassing deal for the United States. This should have been terminated or renegotiated many years ago,” the president said. “Mexico-- we have a trade deficit with Mexico of over $100 billion a year.”

He said he told Mexico on Monday that because its immigration laws “are so strong that they can do things about it, that it’s hard to believe the United States can’t.”


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