Dem senator: Trump administration's policies ‘caused anxiety at the border’

Dem senator: Trump administration's policies ‘caused anxiety at the border’

Sen. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinAmerica is in desperate need of infrastructure investment: Senate highway bill a step in the right direction Financial aid fraud is wrong — but overcorrection could hurt more students Democrats denounce Trump's attack on Cummings: 'These are not the words of a patriot' MORE (D-Md.) on Monday blamed the Trump administration for causing "anxiety" at the southern border a day after border agents fired tear gas in response to migrants attempting to breach the border.

"There’s a better way to handle this. The United States, the Trump policies has caused anxiety at the border," Cardin said on CNN's "New Day."

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"There's an orderly process that should have been used," he added. "Should we fix our immigration system? Absolutely. But this administration has made no effort to fix our immigration system."

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump watching 'very closely' as Portland braces for dueling protests WaPo calls Trump admin 'another threat' to endangered species Are Democrats turning Trump-like? MORE has repeatedly blamed Congress and Democrats, in particular, for failing to pass legislation hardening the country's immigration laws. The White House and lawmakers have been unable to reach an agreement on a host of immigration issues, though Congress has provided some funding for border security.

Cardin said Monday that the Trump administration has enacted policies that have exacerbated the problem at the border with the so-called caravan of Central American migrants, citing the White House's move to curb immigrants' ability to claim asylum and the previous policy of separating families who illegally cross the border.

"So they’re making the circumstances worse, and here we look at children being subject to tear-gassing," Cardin said. "That’s the United States causing that. That’s outrageous."

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on Sunday shut down the busy San Ysidro port of entry near San Diego as hundreds of migrants approached. Tensions flared further when dozens of migrants broke away from a larger group to try and breach the border.

CBP said in a statement that officers fired tear gas into the crowd after attempted illegal crossings and after some migrants threw rocks at border agents.

Trump on Monday morning called on Mexico to deport the migrants back to their home countries and threatened to permanently close the southern border. The president has for weeks painted the group of migrants as an imminent security threat, prompting fierce criticism from Democratic lawmakers.