(CNSNews.com) - Recent moves by the Trump administration to combat illegal immigration at the Southwest border are not just an election ploy, Vice President Mike Pence told a gathering in Washington hosted by Politico on Tuesday.
Pence said the current caravans are "a source of great concern" for many Americans; and it's not just the caravans, he added:
"The truth is that we have more than 1,000 people attempting to come into our country every day."
"Let's recognize that we have a crisis on our southern border," Pence said when he was asked about President Trump's suggestion that he might try to end birthright citizenship by executive order.
Pence noted that President Trump has been campaigning against illegal immigration since he announced his run for president:
And one of the things the president articulated on the campaign trail two years ago was that we want to look in the broadest way possible about an American law that may be used as a magnet to draw people into our country.
Some of those loopholes are like catch-and-release. Some of those loopholes are in other categories. There are things that human traffickers actually use to entice vulnerable families to make the long and dangerous trip north of the peninsula, often at great risk to themselves, and frankly, birthright citizenship is a part of that.
And what I think the president has made clear is that we are looking at action that would reconsider birthright citizenship. We all know what the 14th Amendment says. We all cherish the language of the 14th Amendment. But the Supreme Court of the United States has never ruled on whether or not the language of the 14th Amendment -- "subject to the jurisdiction thereof" -- applies specifically to people who are in the country illegally, and I think the president's looking at executive action.
Pence said the "broad objective" is to "fix a broken immigration system" that is being exploited by people who entice others to pay money to make the long, difficult journey north.
"We need to have a system where people know how to come into the United States legally," Pence said. He said that system needs to work first and foremost for the American people, as it did for Pence's own grandfather.
"The system is not working today and we've got to reform it," he said.
Caravan concerns 'not' an election ploy
"Is this just an election ploy?" Politico's Anna Palmer asked the vice president.
"Anna, it is not," Pence replied:
The caravan that's making its way north was organized in Honduras, according to what the president of Honduras told me. It was organized by left-wing groups, political organizations within Honduras. It was likely financed in part by Venezuela; and people brought together many vulnerable families, including elderly, families with children, for the purpose of coming up to the border of the United States, to come into our country illegally.
That's the objective here. It was -- whatever the motivation of many people in the caravan, and we happen to know there are people with serious criminal histories in the caravan. We've been told by law enforcement in the region that there are individuals from the Middle East in the caravan. The simple fact is that human traffickers and political leftist organizations in Central America are driving this forward. That started weeks ago.
It is a source of great concern to millions of Americans. I've been traveling, like the president has, all over the country, and I can tell you, being out among the American people, there's great concern, great alarm among many Americans to see this vast throng of people coming up for the express purpose of coming into our country illegally.
And the president is simply determined to make sure that we've got the manpower at the border to provide the support as appropriate to the Border Patrol, to continue to harden our border, to ensure that the people that are applying into our country are doing so through ports of entry and under the color of the law.
President Trump sounded off again on Wednesday morning, writing in five tweets:
-- The World is using our laws to our detriment. They laugh at the Stupidity they see!
-- Harry Reid was right in 1993, before he and the Democrats went insane and started with the Open Borders (which brings massive Crime) “stuff.” Don’t forget the nasty term Anchor Babies. I will keep our Country safe. This case will be settled by the United States Supreme Court!
-- Our military is being mobilized at the Southern Border. Many more troops coming. We will NOT let these Caravans, which are also made up of some very bad thugs and gang members, into the U.S. Our Border is sacred, must come in legally. TURN AROUND!
-- So-called Birthright Citizenship, which costs our Country billions of dollars and is very unfair to our citizens, will be ended one way or the other. It is not covered by the 14th Amendment because of the words “subject to the jurisdiction thereof.” Many legal scholars agree.....
-- The Caravans are made up of some very tough fighters and people. Fought back hard and viciously against Mexico at Northern Border before breaking through. Mexican soldiers hurt, were unable, or unwilling to stop Caravan. Should stop them before they reach our Border, but won’t!