President Donald Trump walks down the steps of Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base in Md., Wednesday, June 20, 2018, after returning from Duluth, Minn., where he spoke at a rally. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

The Latest: Trump says Dems must deal on immigration

June 21, 2018 - 9:03 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the immigration controversy (all times local):

8:30 a.m.

President Donald Trump says the U.S.-Mexico border is a "big mess," and that at some point the Democratic leaders in the House and Senate "will be forced to do a real deal" on immigration.

Trump's tweet Thursday comes as the House plans to vote on two immigration bills. House Republican leaders are still trying to build support for one negotiated among conservative and moderate factions of the GOP, although the measure is unlikely to pick up much, if any, Democratic support.

Trump had embraced a hardline "zero-tolerance policy" at the border, only to back down after reports that the approach resulted in 2,300 children detained separately from their families.

Tweeting on Thursday, Trump said Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi are both weak on crime and border security.

He wrote: "At some point Schumer and Pelosi, who are weak on Crime and Border security, will be forced to do a real deal, so easy, that solves this long time problem. Schumer used to want Border security - now he'll take Crime!"

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12:30 a.m.

House Republicans are trying to approve an immigration overhaul that teetered ahead of voting Thursday.

Lawmakers are struggling to move past a debate that has become politically fraught amid the dire images of families being separated at the border.

President Donald Trump's sudden executive action Wednesday on the border crisis stemmed some of the urgency for Congress to act. But House GOP leaders still were pulling out the stops to bring reluctant Republicans on board to resolve broader immigration issues ahead of the November midterm elections.

Passage was always a long shot. But now failure may come at a steeper price as Republicans — and Trump — raise expectations that the party in control of Congress and the White House can fix the nation's long-standing immigration problems.

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