Pressure mounts on Trump over treatment of migrants


US president Donald Trump was facing mounting criticism from within his own party about the policy of separating children from their parents at the southern border last night, as he headed to Capitol Hill to discuss immigration with Republican lawmakers.

As images of distraught children were beamed across the world, prompting international opprobrium, the Dáil agreed to debate and vote on a cross-party motion condemning the US action.


Leo Varadkar

“The eyes of the world are on the US and absolutely nobody can defend the scenes of children being forcibly separated from their parents,” he said.

But he said that the invitation to Mr Trump to visit Ireland still stands, saying that he favoured the “politics of engagement, rather than the politics of boycott or the politics of no platform”.

In the US, House Republicans – who had already been formulating a broad-based immigration package – were expected to add a provision banning familial separation to the draft legislation.

But it was highly uncertain if it would pass either of the houses of Congress.

Several Republicans have joined a chorus of domestic and international condemnation of the administration’s actions on the border, fearing it could damage the party’s chances in November’s midterm elections.

But Mr Trump remained defiant ahead of last night’s meeting, telling a meeting of business leaders that Democrats “love open borders” and insisting that the country needs security whether it is “politically correct or not”.

Meanwhile, Apple chief executive Tim Cook condemned the detention of children as “inhumane”. “It’s heartbreaking to see the images and hear the sounds of the kids. Kids are the most vulnerable people in any society. I think that what’s happening is inhumane, it needs to stop,” he told The Irish Times.