Schiff calls viral photo of drowned immigrants product of Trump's policies

Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden to make voting rights play in Atlanta Democrats eager to fill power vacuum after Pelosi exit Overnight Health Care — Insurance will soon cover COVID-19 tests MORE (D-Calif.) criticized President TrumpDonald TrumpKinzinger welcomes baby boy Tennessee lawmaker presents self-defense bill in 'honor' of Kyle Rittenhouse Five things to know about the New York AG's pursuit of Trump MORE after a photo showing a father and young daughter who drowned trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border went viral, saying the situation is a “product of his policy.”

“To see that father and daughter embrace until the end, it just is absolutely devastating,” Schiff told CNN on Wednesday. “I have to say that the president’s effort to deflect responsibility — this is the product of this policy."

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“And the results are tragic,” he added. “They’re tragic. And for him to try to deflect responsibility — he’s the president of the United States.”

The image of the man and his 23-month-old daughter lying facedown in the Rio Grande ignited debate over Trump’s hard-line immigration policies.

The Trump administration’s new “metering” policy has significantly limited the number of migrants who can request asylum each day at legal ports of entry, creating a backlog of individuals forced to wait on the Mexican side of the southern border.

“Part of the point of his policy is to make conditions cruel enough to deter migration and cruel enough to get Congress to build his wall,” Schiff said. “There’s no need for this.”

Other lawmakers, including Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerDemocrats make final plea for voting rights ahead of filibuster showdown DACA highlights pitfalls of legalization schemes The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Schumer tees up doomed election reform vote MORE (D-N.Y.), have called out Trump in light of the photo, with Schumer telling the president to “look at this photo” and see that “these are not drug dealers or vagrants or criminals. They are people simply fleeing a horrible situation in their home country for a better life.”

 

 

Asked if his policies were responsible, Trump later said, “The asylum policy of the Democrats is responsible.”

“He blames everyone but himself,” Schiff said Wednesday. “The buck stops with him.”

Schiff’s comments come soon after the Senate passed a $4.5 billion bill that gives Trump new border funding. The legislation includes nearly $3 billion in humanitarian aid, which the administration says would be used to add shelters and care for unaccompanied minors, as well as for processing arrivals.

The bill sets up a clash with House Democrats, who passed their own version of the bill earlier this week.

“We have to work out a compromise,” Schiff said. “We’re going to have to work this out, but again …  It’s time for [Trump] to stop acting like a victim and to start acting like the president of the United States.”