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Trump criticizes Merkel, says US will not be 'migrant camp'

2018/6/20 11:30:54   source:CGTN

US President Donald Trump on Monday attacked German Chancellor Angela Merkel's immigration policy, as criticisms over his hardline stance on the US-Mexico border grew.

Trump tweeted that "the people of Germany are turning against their leadership" and added "Big mistake made all over Europe in allowing millions of people in who have so strongly and violently changed their culture!"

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Merkel, who is fighting to keep her governing coalition alive following a row over migration with her interior minister Horst Seehofer, allowed around one million migrants to enter Germany in 2015.

Seehofer, also chairman of the Christian Social Union (CSU), the long-term ally of Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU), has been rebuffed by the chancellor in his attempts to implement a tougher approach to immigration since taking over as interior minister three months ago.

The CSU on Monday gave Merkel two weeks to reach an EU-wide deal on migration before attempting to push through immigration curbs – including turning away asylum seekers without identification at the German border – that she opposes.

Establishing a deal at an upcoming EU summit on June 28-29 is a tough task for Merkel, who will discuss the issue with French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday. If Seehofer took the second option in defiance of Merkel, he would likely be fired and the coalition would be put in jeopardy.

US will not be 'migrant camp'

Trump's tweeted criticism of Germany came amid a flurry of defenses of his hardline immigration policy, as the furor grew over the separation of parents and children at the US-Mexico border.

In a second tweet the US president added, "We don’t want what is happening with immigration in Europe to happen with us!"

"The United States will not be a migrant camp, and it will not be a refugee holding facility. It won’t be. You look at what’s happening in Europe, you look at what’s happening in other places – we can’t allow that to happen to the United States, not on my watch," Trump added at the White House.

An outcry has erupted over the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy, which provides for the arrest of all adults caught trying to enter the United States illegally, including those seeking asylum.

While parents are held in jail, their children are sent to separate detention facilities, some in remote locations. Video footage released by the government showed migrant children held in wire cages, sitting on concrete floors.

Trump administration officials say the zero-tolerance policy, which was not practiced by the two previous presidents, is needed to secure the border and deter illegal immigration.

But Democrats and some Republicans have admonished the administration for dividing nearly 2,000 children from their parents between mid-April and the end of May. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein on Monday also urged the Trump administration to end the practice.

Trump has sought to use the widespread outrage over the family separations to push through other immigration priorities that have stalled in Congress, such as funding for his long-promised wall along the Mexican border.

Border crossings briefly dropped after Trump took office in January 2017, but have since risen to levels seen during the administration of his Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama. Almost 52,000 people were caught trying to cross the southern border illegally in May, according to government figures.

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