AUSTIN, Texas (FOX 7 Austin) - Acting U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker stopped in Austin to speak about immigration policies in Texas and nationwide.
President Donald Trump temporarily appointed Whitaker to the attorney general position in November after firing Jeff Sessions.
Whitaker is seen as controversial by democrats because he has previously criticized Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian collusion in the 2016 election. An investigation Whitaker now oversees. Whitaker didn't mention that during his speech and refused any questions. Instead, focusing his comments on illegal immigration concerns.
“The first and most important obligation of government is to keep its citizens safe. Failure to secure our border over the last 30 years, therefore, represents an enormous failure of government to fulfill its most sacred duty,” said Whitaker.
Whitaker blamed previous administrations for the millions of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. and thanked Texas lawmakers for passing tough laws like SB 4, the anti-sanctuary cities law.
“We have stopped rewarding sanctuary cities and states with federal law enforcement funding. If they want to receive law enforcement money, then they should start cooperating with law enforcement,” Whitaker said.
He mentioned how the president has been aggravated by district court rulings.
“We believe that the Supreme Court should issue a clear ruling that shows that district judges cannot issue nationwide injunctions,” said Whitaker.
That could be a response to district court judges who blocked President Trump from ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
“In less than two years of this administration, President Trump has been hit with 28 of these orders. That's more than the first 41 presidents combined,” Whitaker said.
Whitaker also touched on changes to the asylum process saying, "they just need to come here legally first and not start their asylum process with an initial illegal act."