- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 9, 2019

President Trump said Tuesday that his administration isn’t bringing back the policy of family separation for migrants and blamed former President Barack Obama for putting illegal immigrant children in cages.

Asked by reporters about the policy of family separation, Mr. Trump pointed to the actions of his predecessor.

“Just so you understand, President Obama separated the children,” Mr. Trump said. “Those cages that were shown — I think they were very inappropriate — were by President Obama’s administration, not by Trump. President Obama had child separation.”

He challenged reporters in the Oval Office, “Take a look. The press knows it. You know it. We all know it. I’m the one who stopped it. President Obama had child separation.”

His comments came two days after the resignation of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, amid reports that the administration is considering going back to a policy of temporarily separating migrant families at the southern border.

After condemning child separation and saying that he was not looking to reinstate the policy, Mr. Trump seemed to suggest that it was an effective way to discourage border crossings.

“I’ll tell you something, once you don’t have it, that’s why you have many more people coming,” the president said. “They are coming like it’s a picnic, like ‘let’s go to Disney Land.’ President Obama separated children. I was the one who that changed it.”

In an Oval Office meeting with the president of Egypt, Mr. Trump also criticized federal courts for ruling against his border and asylum policies.

“We’re bucking a court system that never, ever rules for us,” Mr. Trump said, adding that Democrats in Congress “don’t want to act.”

Use of the pens with chain-link fencing for holding illegal immigrants dates back to at least 2014.

“We want homeland security, and that’s what we’re going to get,” the president told reporters.

Asked by a reporter if he was “cleaning house” at DHS, the president responded forcefully.”I never said I’m cleaning house,” Mr. Trump said. “I don’t know who came up with that expression. We have a lot of great people over there. We have bad laws.”

The president referred to a judge’s ruling Monday that rejected a pilot administration policy requiring asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their cases make their way through the U.S. immigration court system as “a disgrace.”

“We have a judge that just ruled incredibly that he doesn’t want people staying in Mexico. Figure that one out,” the president said. “Nobody can believe these decisions we’re getting from the 9th Circuit.”

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