SEASON OF GIVING: DONATE TO THE LES SCHWAB TOY DRIVE AND THE Q13 FOX SOCK DRIVE

‘We support you!’ Trump honors ICE and border protection agents at White House

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

US President Donald Trump speaks during an event honoring the Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection services in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC on August 20, 2018. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON  — President Donald Trump used a White House event Monday to pay tribute to federal immigration officials, returning to the fight over the U.S. southern border.

The president was honoring employees of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Customs and Border Protection. The federal agencies have been thrust into the debate over the Trump administration’s separation of migrant children from their parents after they illegally crossed the U.S.-Mexico border.

“We love you, we support you, we will always have your back,” Trump said. He added: “For America to be a strong nation, we must have strong borders.”

Trump has assailed some Democratic lawmakers for seeking to abolish ICE ahead of the November midterm elections. In a letter to state and local leaders, Trump wrote that ICE workers had been subjected to a “nationwide campaign of smears, insults and attacks” by politicians “catering to the extreme elements in our society.”

Data pix.

Trump has made border security a key part of his message as he tries to maintain Republican control of Congress in the November elections.

Before the president arrived, the White House held a panel discussion on immigration with several state and local officials, who pointed to the role that a secure border plays in the fight against terrorism and drug trafficking and questioned calls to abolish ICE.

Republican Sen. David Perdue of Georgia, who has worked closely with the administration on immigration legislation, said he struggled to see the point of eliminating the federal agency, likening it to someone saying, "I want to get rid of the Marines."

"I just think it's unconscionable, and frankly, I think it's downright unpatriotic and treasonous," Perdue said.

Data pix.
Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.