President Donald Trump on Monday refused to apologize for comments he made during his 2016 presidential campaign regarding immigration, saying there was “no reason to apologize.”
Washington Times reporter Steve Miller pressed Trump on whether or not he would apologize for “some of [his] rhetoric” during the campaign if it meant that the Supreme Court would allow his travel ban.
“I don’t think it would, number one, and there’s no reason to apologize. Our immigration laws in this country are a total disaster,” Trump said during a joint press conference with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday afternoon.
“I think if I apologized it wouldn’t make ten cents worth of difference to them,” the president continued. There’s nothing to apologize for. We have to have strong immigration laws to protect our country.”
Miller also questioned Trump about his views on the caravan of asylum-seeking migrants that arrived at the U.S. border with Mexico earlier in the day.
“In your opinion, or your estimation, what percentage of those people do you believe are deserving of asylum in the U.S.,” Miller asked.
“I won’t get into percentages, but we are a nation of laws. We have to have borders. If we don’t have borders, we don’t have a country,” President Trump responded, using the opportunity to push his border wall proposal.
“We will have a wall that’s much more difficult [to climb]. If you didn’t have that, you’d have thousands of people just pouring into our country,” he said. “You’ve got to have a wall. We need border security and we will have border security.”
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The president’s remarks on immigration come just as a caravan of hundreds of migrants from Central America and Mexico arrived at the San Ysidro port of entry into the United States.
An organizer with the caravan said on Sunday that they will remain outside of the immigration processing center until “every last one” of the migrants is let into the U.S., despite Trump’s repeated statements that they would be denied entry.
“I have instructed the Secretary of Homeland Security not to let these large Caravans of people into our Country. It is a disgrace. We are the only Country in the World so naive! WALL,” he tweeted last week.
Buhari’s visit to the U.S. marks Trump’s first official visit from an African head of state.