News ID: 218226
Published: 0227 GMT July 13, 2018
US: Nearly half of youngest children not reunited

Trump: Immigration has ‘changed the fabric’ of Europe

Trump: Immigration has ‘changed the fabric’ of Europe
Migrants, part of a group intercepted aboard dinghies off the coast in the Mediterranean Sea, stand in a queue after arriving on a rescue boat at the port of Motril, southern Spain, on June 25, 2018.

US President Donald Trump bemoaned the impact of immigration on Europe, saying it has “changed the fabric” of the continent.

Trump was railing against what he described as the migration of “millions and millions of people” into Europe, declaring that the continent is “losing its culture” to refugees and asylum seekers from the Middle East and Africa.

In an interview with the British tabloid The Sun, Trump said that it is a "shame" that European leaders had allowed so many migrants to enter their countries’ borders.

The president's comments highlighted Trump's deeply held skepticism of immigration and resurfaced a line of attack that he had used often on the campaign trail – that Europe was being overrun by non-Europeans and was quickly becoming a shell of what it once was, reported.

“I think you are losing your culture. Look around. You go through certain areas that didn’t exist 10 or 15 years ago,” he said, reported.

“I think what has happened to Europe is a shame,” Trump added. “Allowing the immigration to take place in Europe is a shame.”

Trump stressed his maternal Scottish and paternal German roots, declaring: “I have a great love for the countries of Europe.”

“I think it changed the fabric of Europe and, unless you act very quickly, it’s never going to be what it was and I don’t mean that in a positive way,” Trump said. “So I think allowing millions and millions of people to come into Europe is very, very sad.”

Trump’s publicized comments came shortly after he arrived in the UK for a long-awaited trip on the heels of a tense set of meetings at the annual NATO summit in Brussels, where he delivered a blistering criticism of European allies and demanded that member nations pay more for defense.

In fact, migration levels to Europe have declined recently, dropping to numbers more common prior to 2015, when an influx of people sought to seek asylum on the continent to escape conflict and humanitarian crises in the Middle East and Africa.

Trump insisted everyday Brits would also side with his tough positions.

“I think they like me in the UK,” the president said. “I think they agree with me on immigration.”


Half of children not reunited


Back in the US, Trump has led a crackdown on illegal immigration, warning that a failure to secure America's southern border would result in criminals and drugs entering the US.

That crackdown, however, has become the subject of controversy for the Trump administration, after it was revealed that thousands of migrant children had been separated from their parents at the border as part of enforcement efforts.

The administration said Thursday all eligible small children who were separated from their families as a result of its zero-tolerance immigration policy have been reunited with their parents.

But nearly half of the children under five remain apart from their families because of safety concerns, the deportation of their parents and other issues, the administration said, AP reported.

The administration was under a court mandate to reunite families separated between early May and June 20, when Trump signed an executive order that stopped separations. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit on behalf of a woman who had been separated from her child, and US District Court Judge Dana Sabraw ordered all children reunited with their parents.

Fifty-seven children were reunited with their parents as of Thursday morning, administration officials said.

Most of the reunions occurred by Tuesday’s court-ordered deadline, but the government acknowledged in a court filing that 19 occurred on Wednesday and one Thursday.

The ACLU proposed in a court filing that the administration should be monitored closely as a July 26 deadline approaches to reunite more than 2,000 children who are five and older with their parents. It asked the judge to require that all parental relations be verified and all background checks be completed by next Thursday. It also wants a daily report on how many families are reunited, starting Tuesday.

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