Trump wants to create border security trust fund, vet refugee applications

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U.S. President Donald Trump acknowledges applause as he delivers remarks on immigration reform in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, U.S., May 16, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

President Trump’s call for immigration reforms began with a flurry of proposals to curb and eliminate the menace of illegal immigration, by reinforcing border security though expansion of a wall and implementation of technology, and to strictly vet applications from refugees, which is on the rise.

A big departure in his speech today on the grounds of the White House was Trump’s emphasis on technology to be a deterrent at the border, rather than urge the Democrats for more money for his proposed wall.

“Investment in technology will ensure we can scan 100 percent of everything coming through, curbing the flow of drugs and contraband, while speeding up legal trade and commerce.  It’s the most heavily traded — monetarily — border anywhere in the world, and it’s not even close,” Trump said, speaking on ‘Modernizing Our Immigration System for a Stronger America.’

Calling for a permanent and self-sustaining border security trust fund, Trump advocated that this would be financed by the fees and revenues generated at the border crossings itself.

“Importantly, we’re already building the wall, and we should have close to 400 miles built by the end of next year, and probably even more than that.  It’s going up very rapidly,” he said, of his most popular campaign promises, which is yet to see fruition.

“As we close the gaps in our physical framework, we must also close the gaps in our legal framework.  Critical to ending the border crisis is removing all incentives for smuggling women and children,” he said, adding that “people have no idea how bad it is unless you’re there, and unless you are a member of law enforcement.  They see it every day, and they can’t believe what they see.”

According to Trump, current law and federal court rulings encourage criminal organizations to smuggle children across the border.

“The tragic result is that 65 percent of all border-crossers this year were either minors or adults traveling with minors.  Our plan will change the law to stop the flood of child smuggling and to humanely reunite unaccompanied children with their families back home — and rapidly,” he said.

Trump came down hard on the existing “broken asylum system”, which he said is being put into disarray by those lodging frivolous claims.

“Asylum abuse also strains our public school systems, our hospitals, and local shelters, using funds that we should, and that have to, go to elderly veterans, at-risk youth, Americans in poverty, and those in genuine need of protection.  We’re using the funds that should be going to them.  And that shouldn’t happen.  And it’s not going to happen in a very short period of time.  Have to get this approved,” he said.

“My plan expedites relief for legitimate asylum seekers by screening out the meritless claims.  If you have a proper claim, you will quickly be admitted; if you don’t, you will promptly be returned home,” he added.

Trump also harped on one of his favorite subjects: to restrict access to gang members and criminals, including from the nefarious MS-13 and others.

“Americans can have complete and total confidence that under this plan, the borders will finally be fully and totally secured,” said Trump of his proposals.

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