WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump is laying the blame for the deaths of two Guatemalan children squarely at the feet of Democrats and “their pathetic immigration policies.”
The two child migrants – 8-year-old Felipe Gomez Alonzo and 7-year-old Jakelin Caal Maquin – both died this month while in the custody of US Border Patrol.
“Any deaths of children or others at the Border are strictly the fault of the Democrats and their pathetic immigration policies that allow people to make the long trek thinking they can enter our country illegally. They can’t. If we had a Wall, they wouldn’t even try!” he tweeted Saturday.
“The two children in question were very sick before they were given over to Border Patrol,” he noted in a second tweet. “The father of the young girl said it was not their fault, he hadn’t given her water in days.”
However, Felipe’s mother, Catarina Alonzo, told ABC News that he was not sick on the way to the US nor was he sick at home.
“When he called me, he told me he was fine. He told me not to worry because he was fine,” Catarina Alonzo said.
President Trump cited the tragic deaths as more evidence of why it’s imperative that the US construct a wall along America’s southern border.
“Border Patrol needs the Wall and it will all end,” he tweeted. “They are working so hard & getting so little credit!”
Meanwhile, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen warns the country’s immigration system is at a “breaking point.”
“Our system has been pushed to a breaking point by those who seek open borders,” Nielsen said in a statement. “Smugglers, traffickers, and their own parents put these minors at risk by embarking on the dangerous and arduous journey north.”
“This crisis is exacerbated by the increase in persons who are entering our custody suffering from severe respiratory illnesses or exhibit some other illness upon apprehension,” she added.
The border security issue has been a major sticking point in talks between the president and Democrats to end a partial government shutdown, which now looks like it will stretch into the New Year.
“For those that naively ask why didn’t the Republicans get approval to build the Wall over the last year, it is because IN THE SENATE WE NEED 10 DEMOCRAT VOTES, and they will gives us ‘NONE’ for Border Security! Now we have to do it the hard way, with a Shutdown. Too bad! @FoxNews,” President Trump tweeted.
In the meantime, the fallout from the border wall stalemate continues. Approximately 380,000 federal employees are being furloughed while another 420,000 will be working without pay.