Trump rejects calls for more immigration judges: 'We have to have a real border, not judges'

President TrumpDonald John TrumpDem lawmaker says Electoral College was 'conceived' as way to perpetuate slavery Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals to visit White House on Monday Transportation Dept requests formal audit of Boeing 737 Max certification MORE on Tuesday pushed back against efforts to hire more immigration judges to address the influx of migrants arriving at the Mexico-U.S. border.

Trump spent much of his speech at the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) railing against illegal immigration and emphasizing the need to close the southern border. During an aside on the need for border security, Trump declared judges are ineffective in combatting illegal immigration.

“Ultimately, we have to have a real border, not judges,” Trump said.


“Thousands and thousands of judges they want to hire. Who are these people?” Trump continued. “When we vet a single federal judge it goes through a big process.”

The president appeared to be referencing calls from Republicans and Democrats for additional immigration judges to be dispatched to the border to handle the backlog of illegal entry cases and more quickly adjudicate asylum claims.

"Seriously, what country does this? They said ‘sir, we’d like to hire 5,000 or 6,000 more judges,” Trump continued. “Now can you imagine the graft that must take place?”

Trump's comments seem to contradict his stated desire to speed up deportations and address the waves of people crossing into the U.S. via the southern border.

In addition to bipartisan agreement on the need for additional judges, Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsRosenstein still working at DOJ despite plans to leave in mid-March Juan Williams: Don't rule out impeaching Trump O'Rourke on impeachment: 2020 vote may be best way to 'resolve' Trump MORE dispatched 35 additional U.S. state attorneys and 18 immigration judges to the southern border in May to handle the expected arrival of Central American migrants seeking asylum in the United States.

Trump's comments come as his administration grapples with overwhelming opposition to his administration's practice of separating families who cross the border illegally.

Despite bipartisan calls to end the policy, Trump has doubled down on the practice. He said Tuesday that Congress must pass immigration reform to address the separation issue.