June 19, 2018 2:05 pm
Updated: June 20, 2018 1:13 am

Trump defends separating families at U.S. border, ‘politically correct or not’

WATCH ABOVE: Trump stands firm on controversial border policy: 'You have to take the children away'


U.S. President Donald Trump is asserting he has only two options on immigration: Separating migrant children from their parents at the border or “open borders.”

READ MORE: Trump’s immigration crackdown: Why children are being separated from their parents at U.S. border

Trump discussed immigration during remarks in front of the National Federation of Independent Business’s 75th anniversary celebration.

He says he’s requesting a “third option” from Congress that will allow officials to detain children and parents together as a family unit.

WATCH: Trump defends separating families at the border

A new “zero tolerance” policy from the Trump administration has led to a spike in children being separated from their parents at the border as they seek entry.

READ MORE: Jeff Sessions used religion to justify family separation — his own church called him out

Under the policy, adults who try to cross into the U.S. illegally, many of whom plan to seek asylum, are placed in custody and undergo criminal prosecution.

WATCH: Trump threatens to end aid to countries who ‘abuse’ U.S. with migrants

As the adults are being charged, their children are then separated and deemed to be unaccompanied minors. It’s estimated that around 2,000 children have been separated from their families since the policy began.

WATCH: Trump says ‘fake news media’ are helping human traffickers

Trump on Tuesday defended the policy, saying “we’ve got to stop separation of the families,” but says: “we can’t let people pour in.”

He’s argued that, “politically correct or not, we have a country that needs security, that needs safety.”

WATCH: Trump says the immigration system has ‘been broken for many years’

— With files from Global News

© 2018 The Canadian Press

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