As the outcry over the nearly 2,000 child separations caused as a result of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy on illegal border crossings grows, President Donald Trump doubled down on Monday down on his controversial policies and blamed them on Democrats.
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He also tried to divest himself of any responsibility for the practice, heartbreaking photos of which are becoming more and more readily available.
"The United States will not be a migrant camp and it will not be a refugee holding facility," he said during an event on space policy.
Earlier in the day, he issued a series of tweets and claimed that crime has risen in Germany as a result of migration.
“Crime in Germany is way up,” the president tweeted while warning that migrants have “so strongly and violently changed their culture!”
The people of Germany are turning against their leadership as migration is rocking the already tenuous Berlin coalition. Crime in Germany is way up. Big mistake made all over Europe in allowing millions of people in who have so strongly and violently changed their culture!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 18, 2018
The latest government statistics show that crime actually decreased in Germany in 2017 by 5.1 percent to its lowest level since 1992.
The president also continued to blame Democrats, tweeting in all caps “CHANGE THE LAWS!”
It is the Democrats fault for being weak and ineffective with Boarder Security and Crime. Tell them to start thinking about the people devastated by Crime coming from illegal immigration. Change the laws!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 18, 2018
Enacted earlier this year, the administration’s policy dictates that every adult caught illegally crossing the U.S. southern border face criminal prosecution. As a result, children found making the illegal crossings along with those adults have been separated and sent to detention centers.
The president and his allies also have been increasingly accusing Democrats, while decrying the child separations, of not showing adequate outrage over killings and crime by undocumented immigrants.
The president tweeted Monday asking “where is the outrage” over killings carried out by undocumented immigrants.
Why don’t the Democrats give us the votes to fix the world’s worst immigration laws? Where is the outcry for the killings and crime being caused by gangs and thugs, including MS-13, coming into our country illegally?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 18, 2018
White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley echoed the president’s argument in an interview with FOX Monday, contrasting the permanent separation caused when a loved one is killed to the “temporary separation of families.”
“Where is the outcry for permanent separation when one of these people come to the country, commit a crime, kill an American citizen with their own hand or via the drugs they distribute, no one comes to their defense?” Gidley asked rhetorically. “The permanent separation is the biggest abomination, and Democrat is decrying that at all.”
But as the White House and its allies continue to make crime-based arguments in justifying tough policy stances as it relates to illegal immigration, multiple academic studies have not found any evidence that undocumented immigration increases crime.
ABC News' Ali Rogin contributed to this report.