One day after a federal court dealt U.S. President Donald Trump another blow by rejecting the long-term detention of migrant families, Trump said the issue could be resolved by the migrants themselves.
"Tell people not to come to our country illegally. That’s the solution," Trump told reporters before boarding Air Force One for a meeting with NATO leaders in Belgium. The president urged aspiring migrants to "Come like other people do. Come legally."
Trump again linked illegal immigration to rising crime in the U.S., and he applauded U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents for their efforts to curtail it.
"What they do to MS-13 and everything else shows we ought to support ICE, not do what the Democrats are doing," Trump said. "Democrats want open borders and they don’t mind crime."
A judge of the Federal District Court in Los Angeles said Monday there was no basis to change a long standing agreement that requires children to be admitted to licensed care programs within 20 days.
The Justice Department asked Judge Dolly Gee to amend the 1997 agreement, which provides the framework for how to handle detained immigrant children, so it could detain families together for longer periods.
Judge Gee said the Trump administration's request to modify the agreement was a "cynical attempt" to place the responsibility of immigration policymaking with the courts. Gee said the administration's efforts follow "over 20 years of congressional inaction and ill-considered executive action that have led to the current stalemate."
Gee rejected a similar effort three years ago by the administration of President Barack Obama. Gee ruled then that immigrant children generally cannot be detained more than 20 days.