President Donald Trump's position hasn't changed, but his strong words on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals [DACA] program reflect "a reality" that Democrats are not serious about coming to a deal, White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah said Monday.
"They aren't serious on border security," Shah told Fox Business' "Mornings With Maria" host Maria Bartiromo.
"They have rejected deal after deal after deal."
Trump has made "generous offers" about extending DACA protection, but there hasn't been a move toward "real border security" in return, said Shah.
"Right now you have a caravan of more than 1,000 individuals going through Mexico, with the assumption that they're going to come to the United States and seek asylum," Shah said. "We need the Mexican government to do more, but there are also legal loopholes in the United States with catch and release and other policies."
Democrats, though, aren't willing to work with the Trump administration, said Shah.
"We need more border security, we need to close loopholes, and the president is being compassionate and wants to deal with the DACA population humanely," he added. "The president has shown leadership, but it takes two to tango, and the Democrats have been totally unwilling on this issue. They've been playing politics since day one."
Shah also said the Trump administration wants the Mexican government to do more to stem the numbers of illegal immigrants crossing the U.S. border. Mexico does deport hundreds of thousands of people who come across its own southern border.
Shah also discussed the news that China plans to enact trade sanctions on U.S. pork and other items, saying Trump took action against steel and aluminum imports first in order to protect those industries in the United States.
"The president wants free, fair and reciprocal trade with China," said Shah, "but that hasn't been the U.S. China trade relationship for the past several decades," so Trump took action to not only protect steel and aluminum, but to defend U.S. intellectual property from China.
Shah pointed out that he does not know what all China is doing in respect to its own foreign policy, including building up military bases within China and over its engagements around the world.
The United States, though, is rebuilding its military, including securing $700 billion to help rebuild ships and military bases, increase troop pay, and "ensure that the United States has the strongest and most powerful fighting force in the world" said Shah.
Shah on Monday also commented on Trump's statements against Amazon, noting that the U.S. laws and Postal Service rules support allowing the internet giant to thrive. However, he denied that the president's comments stem from CEO and founder Jeff Bezos' ownership of The Washington Post, which often criticizes the president.
"This isn't personal," he said. "It applies to all companies."
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