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Trump says more deportations ahead after Independence Day

NBC News logo NBC News 7/1/2019 Dareh Gregorian
Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: Image: Donald Trump Oval Office © Nicholas Kamm Image: Donald Trump Oval Office

President Donald Trump said Monday that Immigration and Customs Enforcement is going to be increasing deportations of undocumented immigrants after Independence Day.

"After July Fourth a lot of people are going to be brought back out," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office, where he signed a $4.6 billion aid bill to deal with the surge of migrants at the border. "So people that come up maybe here for a short while, but they're going to be gone, they're going back to their countries. They go back home. ICE is going to be apprehending them and bringing them back."

Trump tweeted in in mid-June that ICE would "begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States" the following week. But he slammed the brakes on that directive days later, saying he was giving Democrats two weeks to make changes to asylum and other immigration laws. "If not, Deportations start!" he tweeted.

On Monday, Trump said, "They're all coming out of the country because that's what we do."

The president praised Mexico for taking steps to slow the number of immigrants traveling through the country to get to the U.S., saying he was dropping his threat of hitting Mexico with tariffs, for now.

"The Mexicans have done a fantastic job," Trump said. "It was because of tariffs that they're doing it, but the point is they're doing a great job."

He said the Guatemalan government is being cooperative as well.

"I'm hearing Guatemala is starting to help a lot," Trump said. "I don't think they were doing what they could do."

Trump said earlier this year that he would cut off foreign aid to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador because of the number of Central Americans coming to the southern border.

On Monday, Trump also said the administration was "looking at" delaying the 2020 census in the wake of a Supreme Court ruling last week that it could not include a question asking whether the respondent is a citizen. Trump said he believes the question is important because there's a "big difference" between being a citizen of the United States and being an "illegal."

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