President Donald Trump, in a Monday night tweet, announced a large-scale effort by Immigration and Customs Enforcement to remove illegal immigrants from the United States.
The president did not provide significant details about the effort, but in the tweets he called on congressional Democrats to work with Republicans to close immigration loopholes.
“Next week ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States,” President Trump wrote. “They will be removed as fast as they come in. Mexico, using their strong immigration laws, is doing a very good job of stopping people long before they get to our Southern Border. Guatemala is getting ready to sign a Safe-Third Agreement. The only ones who won’t do anything are the Democrats in Congress. They must vote to get rid of the loopholes, and fix asylum! If so, Border Crisis will end quickly!”
President Trump is referring to the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in the United States, primarily from Mexico and Central America. The president credited Mexico for its efforts to prevent migrants from reaching the U.S. border, after the two countries came to an agreement on the issue recently.
Mexico agreed to deploy National Guard troops to its southern border to stymie illegal immigration from Central America, and it has also agreed to allow immigrants seeking asylum in the U.S. to wait in Mexico for their cases to be heard.
Trump also referenced something vice president Mike Pence suggested recently, that Guatemala would begin operating as a “safe third country” for asylum seekers. Guatemala has not publicly confirmed this arrangement, and talks between Guatemala and the U.S. are reportedly ongoing.