The White House honored Customs and Border Protection, the 60,000-strong armed force that guards the US borders, and the controversial Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency that patrols the US interior, in the East Room today (Aug. 20).
At the event, Donald Trump continuously referred to the border guard, known as the CBP, as the CBC. He also seemed to mix up the responsibilities of the two agencies. Trump, who received a big cheer from agents and officials when he took to the podium, read his speech from a teleprompter. Right away, he referred to the border group incorrectly, and then continued to use the wrong acronym for the entire speech.
The acronym wasn’t incorrect on the teleprompter, reporters in the room said.
Trump also said that any push to “abolish ICE,” was a “plan to abolish America’s borders,” adding he wasn’t getting funding for his promised border wall with Mexico “because Democrats just don’t mind crime.” In inviting CBP agent Adrian Anzaldua to the stage, Trump paused to note Anzaldua speaks “perfect English.”
The administration is embracing ICE as many Americans express concern about the agency’s targeting of undocumented immigrants who are not dangerous and about ICE’s role in separating asylum-seeking families at border. The event featured a panel discussion with top immigration officials led by a White House press person, with no mention of the separation policy.
There are still 541 children in US government care who were separated from their parents, the Department of Health and Human Services said last week. In 360 cases, a parent is no longer in the country, meaning he or she was likely deported by US officials.