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Trump uses video clip showing Obama calling for a fix to immigration system

President Donald Trump turns as he talks to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at McAllen International Airport as he prepares to leave after a visit to the southern border, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, in McAllen, Texas.

EVAN VUCC/AP

By ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: January 10, 2019

WASHINGTON — With the use of a video of his White House predecessor, President Donald Trump in a tweet on Thursday thanked former President Barack Obama for his support and for saying what Trump has been saying "all along." 

In a tweet, accompanied by video of Obama speaking as president in 2014, Trump said, "President Obama, thank you for your great support — I have been saying this all along!"

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Before departing the White House for Texas, Trump added, "Obama used to call it a crisis at the border, too." 

Obama's remarks in the short video clip was part of a plea in which he was asking Congress to approve an emergency appropriation to deal with a surge of tens of thousands of unaccompanied children and youth, mostly from Central American, trying to cross the border from Mexico.

"We now have an actual humanitarian crisis on the border," Obama said at the time, accompanied by Vice President Joe Biden. He was referring specifically to the surge of minors that year.

That crisis eventually eased as the U.S. stepped up border enforcement, surveillance and resources for the waves of unaccompanied children. Now, a sharp increase in the number of families at the border is overwhelming border resources, worsening a backlog in the asylum system and leaving migrants to live in abysmal conditions on the Mexican side.

Trump, however, has been unable to convince Congress that the border poses a national security risk. He has made a series of statements claiming that terrorists are pouring in from Mexico, that a wall would choke off shipments of illicit drugs, which actually come mainly through legal ports of entry, and that people who get in the country illegally commit a disproportionate share of violent crime.

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Late in his presidency, Obama was critical of Trump's immigration stance and the wall specifically. In May 2016, Obama said: "Suggesting that we can build an endless wall along our borders, and blame our challenges on immigrants — that doesn't just run counter to our history as the world's melting pot; it contradicts the evidence that our growth and our innovation and our dynamism has always been spurred by our ability to attract strivers from every corner of the globe."
 

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