WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump on Sunday advocated depriving undocumented workers of due-process rights, arguing that people who cross the border into the United States illegally are invaders and must immediately be deported without trial or an appearance before a judge.
"We cannot allow all of these people to invade our Country," Trump wrote on Twitter. "When somebody comes in, we must immediately, with no Judges or Court Cases, bring them back from where they came. Our system is a mockery to good immigration policy and Law and Order. Most children come without parents."
The president continued, "Our Immigration policy, laughed at all over the world, is very unfair to all of those people who have gone through the system legally and are waiting on line for years! Immigration must be based on merit - we need people who will help to Make America Great Again!"
The tweets echo a speech Tuesday to the National Federation of Independent Businesses in which Trump said, "I don't want judges. I want border security. I don't want to try people. I don't want people coming in."
At least one Republican lawmaker spoke out against Trump's tweets. Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, a libertarian-leaning Republican who has often criticized the president, responded by quoting the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution.
"No person shall be ... deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law," Amash tweeted.
Most of the response to Trump's tweets came from Democrats and immigrant-rights advocates.
"America rules by law," tweeted Rep. Gerald Connolly, D-Va., "not by presidential diktat."
Omar Jadwat, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Immigrants' Rights Project, said in a statement:
"What President Trump has suggested here is both illegal and unconstitutional. Any official who has sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution and laws should disavow it unequivocally."
Trump on Twitter also exhorted congressional Democrats to "fix the laws," arguing that "we need strength and security at the Border! Cannot accept all of the people trying to break into our Country."
Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., said Sunday that the president was choosing his words to rally his supporters for the midterm elections.
"He doesn't use it as immigration policy, he doesn't use it as border-control policy, he uses it as a issue in order to energize his political base," Gutierrez said on ABC's This Week.
Trump's tweets came as lawmakers struggle to reach consensus on immigration legislation.
The House is preparing to vote this week on a broad, GOP immigration bill that has White House support. However, Democrats oppose the measure, and Republicans have long been divided over how restrictive immigration laws should be.
Meanwhile, some GOP lawmakers were preparing over the weekend a more narrow bill that would solely address one of the flaws in Trump's executive order, which mandates that migrant children and parents not be separated during their detention. The 1997 "Flores settlement" requires that children be released after 20 days, but the GOP proposal would allow for children and their parents to stay together in detention facilities past 20 days.
After House Republicans failed to pass a hard-line immigration bill last week, they were preparing to vote on another bill this week that would provide $25 billion for Trump's long-sought border wall, limit legal immigration, and curb government agencies from separating migrant children from detained parents.
It would also offer a path to citizenship for people brought to the U.S. as youths -- the "Dreamers," a term based on the never-passed Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act.
"I did talk to the White House [on Saturday]. They say the president is still 100 percent behind us," Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, a co-sponsor of the bill and chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said on Fox News Sunday.
But because that bill may not garner enough votes to pass the House, momentum was building over the weekend for a more narrow measure that would effectively end the Flores settlement. Should the broader bill fail, the White House is preparing to throw its support behind the measure, which is expected to garner wider support among lawmakers, according to a White House official.
Lawmakers said leaders wanted to round up GOP votes by adding provisions requiring companies to verify workers' citizenship, but also easing restrictions on seasonal migrant workers, a priority for many farm-district Republicans.
Until now, party leaders have hesitated to include those items because they could end up costing votes. Moderate Republicans don't like the citizenship verification requirement, and some conservatives don't like helping immigrants stay in the U.S.
Another problem is the two additional provisions don't address the major reason for GOP defections: Conservatives say helping Dreamers stay in the U.S. is handing amnesty to lawbreakers.
"I'm a 'no,'" said Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., a member of the hard-right House Freedom Caucus. He said he couldn't defend helping the Dreamers "to people waiting in line the right way" to immigrate to the U.S.
Marc Short, the White House director of legislative affairs, said Sunday that it was premature to announce which measures Trump would sign but urged Congress to act quickly to address the immigration issue broadly.
"The White House has consistently raised our concern about the Flores settlement with Congress," Short said. "It's, in fact, an issue that previous administrations grappled with also, and we anticipate Congress acting on that sooner rather than later."
The president has balked at proposals from Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and other lawmakers to add court personnel to help process more immigration cases.
Cruz's initial legislation on the border crisis proposed doubling the number of immigration judges, from roughly 375 to 750. And Attorney General Jeff Sessions has taken steps to strengthen the immigration courts, allowing them to process many cases without trials and limiting their ability to delay other cases.
Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said a larger immigration bill is unlikely before the midterm elections in November.
Republicans have shifted blame on the issue to Democrats, who have been critical of both Sessions' moves and drafts of immigration legislation.
On the Sunday talk shows, Republicans said Democrats were rejecting any serious solution in favor of inflicting political harm on Republicans.
"What they want is the political issue," Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, a leader of the House Freedom Caucus, said on CBS' Face the Nation.
"They don't want to solve the problems. They don't want to keep families together and adjudicate this and have a go through the hearing process and do it in a way that's consistent with the rule of law."
But some Republicans are eager for roll calls to show voters back home that they've tried to address the issue.
"I think it's important that the House be able to show we can take the action," said House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.
Information for this article was contributed by Alan Fram and Ken Thomas of The Associated Press; by Erik Wasson, Jennifer Epstein, Mark Niquette and Toluse Olorunnipa of Bloomberg News; and by Philip Rucker and David Weigel of The Washington Post.
A Section on 06/25/2018
Print Headline: 'Invaders' lose right to court, Trump tweets; Instant deportations urged