Speed Reads

Playing politics

Trump reportedly thinks separating migrant families gives him leverage on immigration policy

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:

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.