President Donald Trump speaks in the Hall of Columns as he arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 19, 2018, to rally Republicans around a GOP immigration bill. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

With eyes on midterms, Trump embraces immigration fight

June 19, 2018 - 7:11 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — Calling the shots as his West Wing clears out, President Donald Trump sees his hard-line immigration stance as a winning issue heading into a midterm election he views as a referendum on his protectionist policies.

Trump on Tuesday defended his administration's policy of separating families at the U.S.-Mexico border amid mounting criticism. The chorus of condemnation includes Democrats, as well as Republicans, who are increasingly worried that reports about bereft children taken from their parents could damage the GOP's chances in November.

Trump believes that his immigration pledges helped win him the presidency and that his base demands he deliver on them. White House officials say that as GOP lawmakers scramble to find a legislative fix, Trump is confident that immigration is a winning issue.

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