President Donald Trump painted a grim picture of the homeland Wednesday, saying his actions to crack down on illegal immigration in the United States were "liberating towns" from gangs such as MS-13.
"We’re freeing up towns, actually we’re liberating towns, if you believe we have to do that in the United States of America," Trump said, speaking in the Cabinet room alongside families who said their children were killed by people in the country illegally. "But we’re doing it and we’re doing it fast."
The remarks came with a call for Congress to pass the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act, which would pull federal funding from so-called sanctuary cities that do not cooperate with federal immigration officials. The cities say their policies allow immigrant communities to trust police and report crimes without fear of deportation.
"We will cut federal grant money to cities that shield dangerous criminal aliens from being turned over to federal law enforcement," Trump said.
The president also called for Congress to pass Kate’s Law, which augments criminal penalties for those who return to the United States illegally after deportation. The bill is named after Kate Steinle, who was killed in San Francisco by a gunman who had previously been deported after being convicted of a felony.
Trump’s remarks were followed by the parents of deceased children sharing their stories, a frequent fixture of Trump campaign rallies in 2016.