WASHINGTON – United States President Donald Trump defended on Saturday his administration’s policy of separating families that arrive in the US illegally, saying the fear of separation was an effective deterrent.
Trump was addressing reporters outside the White House as he departed for a campaign rally in Richmond, Kentucky.
“If they feel there will be separation, they don’t come,” he said. “You’ve got some really bad people out there.”
In June, the Trump administration abandoned the controversial policy of separating children from their parents upon arrival at the US-Mexico border after the measure had led to widespread condemnation in the US and abroad.
Over 2,300 children were held at the border in May and June while their parents were prosecuted for entering the country illegally.
After signing an executive order at the end of June abandoning the policy, Trump said, “we are keeping a very powerful border and it continues to be a zero tolerance. We have zero tolerance for people who enter our country illegally.”