President TrumpDonald TrumpJan. 6 panel plans to subpoena Trump lawyer who advised on how to overturn election Texans chairman apologizes for 'China virus' remark Biden invokes Trump in bid to boost McAuliffe ahead of Election Day MORE on Friday reaffirmed his effort to crack down on illegal immigration, pressing the Senate to swiftly pass two bills that he said would stop undocumented immigrants with criminal backgrounds from taking "beautiful American lives."
The House on Thursday passed the two measures – Kate's Law and the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act – moving forward a key promise touted by Trump on the campaign trail.
"I now call on the Senate to take up these bills and send them back to my desk for signature as soon as possible," Trump said in his weekly address. "We need security, we need safety in our country, and I call on all members of both parties to stand united with victims to stop these terrible and senseless crimes from ever happening in the first place."
While the bills have cleared the House, Senate Democrats are likely to move to block the legislation. Trump cast the decision on Friday, however, as a matter of standing with American citizens.
"This legislation presents a simple choice: Either vote to save and protect American lives, or vote to shield and comfort criminal aliens who threaten innocent lives. And they've been shielded too long," he said.
One of the bills, Kate's Law, would toughen punishments for undocumented immigrants who attempt to re-enter the country. The other would restrict federal funding to so-called sanctuary cities — jurisdictions that decline to fully comply with federal immigration enforcement efforts.
The address came two days after Trump met with families of Americans who were killed by undocumented immigrants.
He recalled that meeting in his Friday address, saying the deaths amounted to failure by the government to adequately enforce immigration laws.
"Every single one of these deaths was preventable. These beautiful American lives were stolen because our government refused to do its job," he said.
As a presidential candidate, Trump vowed to crackdown on illegal immigration and frequently cited cases in which U.S. citizens were killed by undocumented immigrants as the reasoning for his proposals.