President Donald Trump has blamed “illegal immigrants” for the opioid epidemic and said he’s willing to deport millions of undocumented immigrants.
Trump, who campaigned on a promise to crack down on illegal immigration, tweeted on Thursday morning that the problem is “very, very serious.”
“The Democrats, the Clintons and their media friends are going to try to portray this as an issue of crime and lawlessness.
But it’s an epidemic,” Trump wrote.”
The drug cartels are killing people all across this country.
They have killed millions of Americans.
And the cartels are pouring into the United States from Mexico, bringing with them tremendous quantities of drugs and people that have no regard for our borders, and they’re pouring into our country from Central America.
And they’re killing people, and we have to get to the bottom of this.”
Trump has used the term “drug cartels” repeatedly in his efforts to fight the opioid crisis.
The president said on Twitter that “the Democrats, their media allies and their Democratic Party are out to stop me and I’m going to start a war on drugs.”
But he said he’d be willing to consider allowing undocumented immigrants to apply for citizenship if that’s what he felt would help solve the problem.
“They want to go to a place called ‘sanctuary’ and they don’t want us to say, ‘We’re going to let them come in and they can come in.’
And I can make a deal with them,” Trump said.
“If they want to come in legally, we’ll have a deal.
But I want to know how they feel about that.
I’m not going to make a bad deal.””
I want them to be able to come here legally, but I also want them not to be killing people,” Trump continued.
“I want to be a president that does not want to put the lives of our citizens in danger.”
Trump’s comments come after Democrats on Capitol Hill said they are considering bringing up the issue of immigration during a House GOP caucus meeting Wednesday night.
“We are talking about immigration in a way that will address the problems of our country and our future,” Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) said at the caucus.
“I will be bringing up immigration reform and that will include the issue on which we have been focused for a long time, which is the issue about people who are bringing drugs into our communities and are not properly vetted, and are criminals.”
Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D–Mich.), the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, said that the “real issue” facing the country is illegal immigration and “this president has a lot to answer for.”
“When we talk about crime, we talk to criminals, we don’t talk about people,” Conyers said.
The Democrats on the Hill have long argued that undocumented immigrants are “undocumented,” making it difficult to deport them.
“When you have a population that is not legally here, it creates a tremendous incentive for them to come and commit crimes,” Conyer said.
“You can imagine if there were more of these people, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, France and Germany, would be a lot more safer, you know, and I think the American people would be safer.”