'I'm just doing what I said I would do': Trump defends controversial immigration steps so far

President Donald Trump defended his administration’s controversial immigration policies during a joint press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday.

Responding to a reporter’s question about whether he believes the United States’ border with Canada is secure, Trump said “you can never be totally confident.” He then pivoted to his administration’s actions on immigration, saying that it has already begun targeting “criminals” for deportation.

“I said we will get the criminals out — the drug lords, the gang members — we’re getting them out,” Trump said. “I’m just doing what I said I would do.”

Trump’s comments came in the wake of hundreds of arrests across the country by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in raids over the last several days. It also came amid a legal fight over an immigration order he issued during his first week in office, which bans most travel from seven majority-Muslim nations. An appeals court last week upheld a lower court’s temporary restraining order that prevents the policy from being enforced.

Trudeau, standing behind a podium next to Trump, said Canada will “continue to pursue our policies of openness toward immigration [and] refugees without compromising security.”

Defending the public response to his policies, Trump said, “In the end everyone is going to be extremely happy. … And I will tell you right now, a lot of people are very, very happy right now.”

Trudeau, for his part, declined to say whether he believes Trump’s travel ban is justified on national security grounds, instead saying he does not intend to “come down and lecture another country on how they choose to govern themselves.”

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