Schumer: 'There's No Need' for Immigration Legislation; Republicans Are 'Feeling the Heat'

Susan Jones | June 20, 2018 | 6:08am EDT
Font Size
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer offers President Trump a pen at a June 19 news conference. (Photo: Screen capture)

( - Happy to have found an issue that may hurt President Donald Trump politically, Democrats insist there is no need for legislation to fix the badly broken immigration system that allows tens of thousands of people, adults and children alike, to pour into this country illegally, without vetting.

"There's no need for legislation, there's no need for anything else," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told a news conference on Tuesday. "You can do it, Mr. President. You started it, you can stop it, plain and simple. So, again, if the president's ashamed at what's happening at the border, he can change it."

Schumer said Trump can "undo this shameful policy immediately...with a flick of the pen."

"Mr. President, I'll lend you my pen, any pen," Schumer said. "You can fix it yourself, so we're here today to say, Mr. President, you should and you must fix this problem. But if you don't want to change this cruel policy, at least admit it is your decision."

A reporter asked Schumer, "Why not just enact a law that stops them from ever from doing this again?"

"Well there are so many obstacles to legislation, and when the president can do it with his own pen, it makes no sense," Schumer said. "(House Speaker Paul) Ryan, the president signing it, attaching it to things that are unacceptable. Legislation is not the way to go here when it's so easy for the president to sign it. It's an excuse."

Another reporter asked Schumer if the time might come when "Democrats would be willing to work with the Republicans" on a "narrow" immigration bill:

"Let's hope we never get to that," Schumer responded. "Let's hope the president does the right thing and solves the problem, which he can do. That's the simple, easiest and most likely way this will happen. How many times has immigration legislation passed in this Congress? How many times? Zero.

"It's an excuse by our Republican colleagues who feel the heat, don't want to attack the President, even though they know, they know legislation will take a very long time and is unlikely to happen, and the flick of a President's pen could solve this by tomorrow. Makes no sense what they're saying."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told a news conference on Tuesda that Republicans "support a plan that keeps families together while their immigration status is determined."

McConnell also said it would require bipartisan negotiations for any "fix" to pass the Senate: "And so we hope to reach out to the Democrats and see if we can get a result, which means making a law, and not just get into some kind of sparring back and forth that leads to no conclusion," McConnell said.

But Schumer is having none of that:

"They are feeling the heat," Schumer said about Republicans. "Republicans are saying how bad this is, Laura Bush said how bad this is. They are the ones feeling the heat on this issue, and that's why they're squirming, as you saw a few minutes ago."

Schumer and his fellow Democrats made it clear they are more interesting in making Republicans squirm ahead of the midterm election than they are in fixing a serious problem at the border that could threaten U.S. national security.

Although previous administrations have separated children from parents who come into this country illegally, Democrats and their supporters in the media are making it look like something new and different and sinister. Previous administrations have not been as strict about detaining illegal immigrants, and the accelerated pace of detentions is what has contributed to the current controversy.

The Trump administration recently announced that people who present themselves at ports of entry to seek asylum will not be separated from their children.

But people who cross illegally will be detained, and since there is no place for children at detention centers, the children are then turned over the Health and Human Services Department for care and housing. Unaccompanied minors also fall under HHS custody.

President Trump said on Tuesday, "We want to solve this problem, we want to solve family separation, I don't want children taken away from parents.

"And when you prosecute the parents for coming in illegally, which should happen, you have to take the children away. Now we don't have to prosecute them, but then we're not prosecuting them for coming in illegally. That's not good," the president said.

"We want to end the border crisis by finally giving us the legal authorities and the resources to detain and remove illegal immigrant families altogether and bring them back to their country."

mrc merch