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Ahead of Democratic debate, DNC’s Tom Perez slams Trump on immigration



MIAMI, FL — As the nation reacts to an image of a migrant father and his daughter who both died while attempting to cross the US-Mexico border, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez on Wednesday excoriated President Donald Trump on his approach to immigration.

“This president is profoundly inept on so many issues,” Perez told INSIDER in Miami in the hours leading up to the first 2020 Democratic debate. He called on the president to “stop tweet and start working” to address the “humanitarian crisis” at the border.

Perez said Trump should follow the lead of House Democrats, who passed a $4.5 billion emergency border aid bill on Tuesday to ensure “we have the resources necessary to prevent these absolutely avoidable tragedies” like the deaths of the migrant father and his young daughter.

Read more: DNC Chairman Tom Perez still won’t hold a climate-change-focused debate, despite mounting pressure from Democratic activists

“[Trump] owns this issue. He’s the commander-in-chief, he has the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of State. He has the full force of the US government and he has made the situation worse,” Perez went on to say.

“Democrats stepped up yesterday in the House of Representatives to tackle this challenge. We need comprehensive immigration reform,” he added.

The DNC chairman said Trump is “so beholden to the far right-wing on immigration” and said it’s a huge obstacle to his ability to adequately address the situation at the border.

Perez also slammed Republicans for refusing to take up a bill aimed at providing a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers brought the US as children, noting that polling has repeatedly shown a majority of Americans are in favor of this.

Meanwhile, the Republican-led Senate on Wednesday rejected the immigration bill that passed in the Democratic-led House the day before, passing its own version of an emergency border funding aid package. The two chambers are now poised to wage a contentious battle over the bills.

“They pass their bill, we respect that,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Wednesday. “We passed our bill, we hope they would respect that. And there are some improvements that we think can be reconciled.”

Pelosi said “no” when asked if there’s a chance she’d take up the Senate’s version of the bill.

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