President Trump believes he will have a stronger negotiating position in the immigration reform debate if his administration continues to enforce its deeply unpopular "zero tolerance" policy of separating children from their families at the border, The Washington Post reported Friday evening, citing unnamed White House officials.
Though he claims to oppose the separations, Trump himself alluded to the view the Post story describes in tweets Friday and Saturday accusing congressional Democrats of "forcing" him to split up immigrant families because they will not back an immigration reform bill that meets his specifications:
The Democrats are forcing the breakup of families at the Border with their horrible and cruel legislative agenda. Any Immigration Bill MUST HAVE full funding for the Wall, end Catch & Release, Visa Lottery and Chain, and go to Merit Based Immigration. Go for it! WIN!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 15, 2018
Democrats can fix their forced family breakup at the Border by working with Republicans on new legislation, for a change! This is why we need more Republicans elected in November. Democrats are good at only three things, High Taxes, High Crime and Obstruction. Sad!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 16, 2018
Nearly 2,000 children were separated from their families in April and May alone; some of these families crossed the border illegally, while others are legal asylum-seekers. The separations have been condemned even by typically stalwart Trump supporters like Franklin Graham. Bonnie Kristian