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Where is Trump? President is at his golf resort in New Jersey as thousands protest in DC

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© SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images


By Nick Muscavage and Ledyard King, USA TODAY
BEDMINSTER, NJ

President Donald Trump will have to watch the news or surf the Internet to see the tens of thousands of people gathering outside the White House protesting his "zero tolerance" immigration policies.

He's 220 miles from the official residence, ensconced in Trump National Golf Club, his private resort in Bedminster, New Jersey. The president has no public events this weekend and is not expected to make comments in the press.

So some protesters decided to come to him.

More than 100 people lined up along the side of Route 206 a few miles away from the president's club in Bedminster, waving anti-Trump signs and chanting, “Where are the children!” on Saturday during the "Families Belong Together" protest near his club.

Weekly protests have been going on here since the president’s 2016 election but this is one of the largest turnouts here.

Out of sight, Trump turned to his favorite medium – Twitter – to push back on some Democrats' calls for the abolition of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement which has been carrying out the president's directive.

"The Democrats are making a strong push to abolish ICE, one of the smartest, toughest and most spirited law enforcement groups of men and women that I have ever seen," he tweeted. "The radical left Dems want you out. Next it will be all police. Zero chance, It will never happen!"

After receiving backlash from immigrants, Democrats and Republicans, Trump signed an executive order on June 20 to end the practice of separating parents from their children after being arrested.

But the order did not end the administration's policy of referring all migrants caught illegally crossing the border for criminal prosecution. The order says the administration will "rigorously enforce" immigration laws and "initiate proceedings" accordingly. And Trump said after signing the order that officials will have "zero tolerance" for people crossing the border illegally.

What has changed is that immigration agents have temporarily stopped charging border crossers if they arrive with children.

Trump has gone back and forth on whether he wants Congress to pass an immigration bill.

On Saturday, he tweeted that he "never pushed" lawmakers to pass a hardline immigration bill or a more moderate version sponsored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., "because it could never have gotten enough Democrats as long as there is the 60 vote threshold." That's a reference to the filibuster-proof margin needed to pass bills in the Senate.

Both of Goodtlatte's bills to fund President Trump's border wall and dramatically decrease legal immigration died in the GOP-controlled House after conservative and hard-line Republicans split their support. Democrats voted against both of them.

On Wednesday, several hours prior to the defeat of the second bill, Trump tweeted that the House "SHOULD PASS THE STRONG BUT FAIR IMMIGRATION BILL, KNOWN AS GOODLATTE II, EVEN THOUGH DEMS WON'T LET IT PASS IN THE SENATE. PASSAGE WILL SHOW THAT WE WANT STRONG BORDERS & SECURITY ..."

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Politics - U.S. Daily News: Where is Trump? President is at his golf resort in New Jersey as thousands protest in DC
Where is Trump? President is at his golf resort in New Jersey as thousands protest in DC
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