The President's Weekly Address
On September 11, 2001, America suffered the worst terrorist attacks in our history. The attacks were carried out by foreign nationals who exploited our lax immigration laws and defrauded our immigration system in order to murder nearly 3,000 innocent people. Following the attacks, Congress placed most immigration enforcement functions within a new agency known as the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement, meaning ICE.
One of the critical lessons of 9/11 is that immigration enforcement saves lives. We must enforce the rules against visa fraud, illegal overstay, illegal entry, and other immigration violations and crimes; and crimes they are—believe me, crimes they are. These are the practices exploited by terrorists, drug dealers, child smugglers, human traffickers, gang members, and countless unknown and unregistered criminals to gain illicit access to our country and threaten our citizens.
In fiscal year 2017 alone, ICE arrested more than 127,000 aliens charged or convicted of crimes inside of the United States. These were very serious crimes and far too many of them. Yet leading Democrat politicians have called to abolish ICE—nobody even believes it, they want to abolish ICE—in other words, they want open borders and more crime. And that's what you're going to get. You'll get more crime as you open up those borders.
Last week, 167 Democrats in the House of Representatives refused to vote for a resolution to support the heroes of ICE. These are brave and great men and women. They're in the trenches every day taking the fight straight to vicious gangs. They prey on our people, they hurt our people, they kill our people.
Without the brave heroes of ICE, we would have no enforcement, no laws, no borders. And therefore, we wouldn't even have a country. So to the courageous public servants at ICE—men and women, great ones—we want you to know that the American people are with you, and my administration has your back 100 percent. You are the heroes who protect the lives of our citizens, the safety of our communities, and the sovereignty of our great Nation.
We love you, we support you, and we always will stand with you.
Thank you. And God bless America.
NOTE: The address was recorded at approximately 11 a.m. on July 26 in the Map Room at the White House.
Donald J. Trump, The President's Weekly Address Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/332649