In an interview with Johnson Sunday, CBS "Face the Nation" host Margaret Brennan asked about President Donald Trump's tweet earlier in the day threatening a government shutdown if Congress didn't approve more funding for a wall along the U.S. -Mexico border, among other demands. "Must get rid of Lottery, Catch & Release etc. and finally go to system of Immigration based on MERIT!" he said in a morning tweet.
Mr. Trump returned to the idea of shutting down the government over the border wall after meeting at the White House last week with House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to discuss the fall legislative agenda.
President Trump accused migrant parents who cross the U.S. -Mexico border with their sons and daughters of using these children to further "their own sinister purposes".
Under prior immigration policy, those who cross the border illegally with children were released while they waited for deportation hearings.
He also called for an immigration system "based on MERIT!", adding that immigrants wanted by the U.S. needed to be "great people". McConnell canceled most of the Senate's recess to give senators time to work on the annual spending bills that fund government operations. The Senate remains in session and is set to go on break the week of August 6 before returning for the rest of the month.
Trump also tweeted Sunday that Congress needs to act on fixing the country's immigration laws, which he called the "dumbest and worst" anywhere. Vote 'R, ' " he said.
The President's attitudes on immigration, as well as his insistence on a wall along the southern border, were hallmarks of his campaign, and themes he regularly returns to.
But the administration's policy of referring all instances of illegal entry for criminal prosecution, which was announced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions in April, has resulted in thousands of families being separated at the border.
The Trump administration, though, has been under huge pressure for its policy of separating immigrant families at the border and then, in some cases, failing to reunite them-or to even have a clue for how to do so.