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Politics & Government

Sen. Carper criticizes Trump on caravan rhetoric

carper-senate.jpg
Delaware Public Media
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Central American migrants heading north through Mexico toward the U.S. has become a political issue leading up to the midterm election.

Sen. Tom Carper said he disagrees with President Donald Trump’s rhetoric.

Trump claims without evidence caravan members are criminals and “unknown Middle Easterners.” He also claims without evidence Democrats are encouraging them to come here.

Carper said he believes the U.S. should focus on improving the conditions in those countries to reduce the amount of violence there.

“And if the violence, with that gone, and people had economic opportunity and hope in those three countries, they wouldn’t be paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to get the coyote to smuggle to get them to bring them to the U.S.," he said. "They would want to stay in their own countries.”

While Defense Secretary James Mattis is expected to order up to 800 troops to the U.S.-Mexico border as the caravan moves through Mexico - Carper argues the U.S. should allow people to seek asylum without travelling to here to do it.

“We should give them the ability to file for asylum in their countries at U.S. embassies in their countries rather than feel like they have to somehow make it all the way through Mexico and risk life and limb,” he said.

Current law requires asylum seekers to apply at ports of entry or be physically present in the U.S.

Carper also partly the blames violence in Central America on the U.S. drug epidemic.

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