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Trump blasts Democrats over MS-13 gang violence, immigration standstill

President Trump lambasted Democrats as "sticking up" for MS-13 gang members, once again blaming party leaders for hampering the administration's efforts to provide immigration reform. Mr. Trump made the remarks in an interview with Fox News taped just after his immigration roundtable event in New York on Wednesday. 

"We have the worst immigration laws in the entire world by far," the president said. "Other countries laugh at us and it's because of the Democrats, it's because of Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi." 

Speaking to "Fox and Friends", Mr. Trump said that the "vicious killers" of MS-13 "shouldn't be allowed into the country." He applauded current law enforcement efforts to stop the flow of gangs and drugs across the U.S. border, but said Democrats are "trying to find all sorts of reason[s]" why they should stay. 

"These are stone-cold killers – vicious killers," Mr. Trump said. "And when we hear families like that, innocent families, these incredible families who have lost their daughter in this case, got some other people in the room that have lost sons. This should have never happen."

Asked if he would support current efforts being taken by conservative House members without the support of Republican leadership to force a vote on a variety of immigration bills, Mr. Trump said "unless it includes a wall – and I mean a wall, a real wall – and unless it includes strong border security, there'll be no approvals from me."

House Speaker Paul Ryan has repeatedly voiced his opposition of House Republicans who have filed a discharge petition to force a vote on immigration legislation, since Congress has not been able to legislate a fix to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program earlier this year.

"There are bills going through, I'm watching one or two of them, we'll see what happens. But I can tell you there is a mood right now, on very strong border security," Mr. Trump said.

The president was confident that the administration would receive further funding for his long-promised border wall, saying that there's "a lot of pressure on Democrats to get it approved" and to change the immigration laws.

Meanwhile, when discussing the administration's efforts to prosecute immigrants crossing the border, Mr. Trump said the U.S. needs to change the immigration courts system, calling it "corrupt." 

"We're the only country essentially that has judges. They want to hire thousands of judges. Other countries have – it's called security people. People that stand there and say 'You can't come in.' We have thousands of judges and we need thousands more judges. The whole system is corrupt. It's horrible," Mr. Trump said.

He added, "You need thousands of judges based on this crazy system. Who ever heard of a system where you put people through trials? You know a judge is a very special person. How do you hire thousands of people to be a judge? So it's ridiculous. We are going to change the system. We have no choice for the good of our country."

  • Emily Tillett

    Emily Tillett is a politics reporter and video editor for CBS News Digital