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White House Easter egg roll: US President Donald Trump and first lady Melania welcome 20,000 Kids for Celebration

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Donald Trump stands with his son Barron and wife Melania. VOA

Washington, April 18, 2017: US President Donald Trump and first lady Melania on Monday welcomed more than 20,000 children and parents to the White House to hunt for Easter eggs and participate in egg-rolling races, a tradition that dates back to 1878.

The annual “Easter Egg Roll” revolves around children, who set about finding hidden coloured eggs in the garden bushes around the presidential residence and later roll them toward a finish line aided only by wooden spoons.

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“On behalf of the president and (our son) Barron, we wish you great fun and beautiful days coming ahead of us,” Xinhua news agency quoted the first lady as saying.

Specifically, the first lady was in charge of the activities, just like every year, and this was the 139th egg race hosted at the White House, although it was the first time the Trumps had been involved.

A military band was on hand to perform for the guests and White House personnel and volunteers worked “tirelessly” to create a “memorable” experience for all concerned.

Melania and Barron, who traveled to Washington from New York — where they are living until the 10-year-old finishes the school year — appeared with Trump, accompanied by a human-sized white Easter rabbit, on the Truman Balcony to address the invited guests.

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“We will be stronger and bigger and better as a nation than ever before, and we are right on track … I’ve seen those kids, and they’re highly, highly competitive,” Trump said just before blowing the whistle to launch the egg rolling race.

The children attending the event, some wearing red caps with Trump’s campaign slogan “Make America Great Again” on them, took part in the race and egg hunt, decorated cookies, wrote thank-you letters to US soldiers and participated in other fun activities.

The smaller children also received visits from several Easter bunnies, along with Elmo from Sesame Street, Peppa Pig and Dr. Seuss, among other well-known personalities, who strolled through the crowd on the White House lawn and entertained them.

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The president and his family, meanwhile, sat at the decoration workshop tables and helped children compose letters to the troops, along with greeting the guests.

The first lady also took part in another traditional aspect of the Easter event, reading portions of “Party Animals,” written by Kathie Lee Gifford, to the kids.

This year, due to rain in the forecast, the White House had announced that the event would be somewhat curtailed, with only 20,000 guests on hand rather than the more than 35,000 of previous years.

A total of some 18,000 Easter eggs were made available to the kids, however, by the White House.

Also on hand for the event were the president’s two older sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, along with their families. (IANS)

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Trump Sends Undocumented Migrants to Sanctuary Cities

Democrats must change the Immigration Laws FAST. If not, Sanctuary Cities must immediately ACT to take care of the Illegal Immigrants

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Trump Sends Mixed Signals on Migrant Crisis at US-Mexico Border. VOA

The White House on Sunday, echoing President Donald Trump, said sending undocumented migrants to sanctuary U.S. cities that have protected them from deportation remains a possibility even though government agencies have said it would be impractical and there is no money allocated to do it.

“We certainly are looking at all options as long as [opposition] Democrats refuse to acknowledge the crisis at the border,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told the “Fox News Sunday” show.

Trump said late Saturday on Twitter, “Democrats must change the Immigration Laws FAST. If not, Sanctuary Cities must immediately ACT to take care of the Illegal Immigrants – and this includes Gang Members, Drug Dealers, Human Traffickers, and Criminals of all shapes, sizes and kinds. CHANGE THE LAWS NOW!”

Hundreds of U.S. cities, along with California, the country’s most populous state, have declared themselves as havens for migrants who have illegally crossed the southern U.S. border with Mexico, refusing the help U.S. immigration officials to track down the immigrants so they can be deported.

U.S. border authorities apprehended more than 100,000 undocumented migrants, mostly from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, at the border in March, nearly twice that in the same month in 2018.

 

“The USA has the absolute legal right to have apprehended illegal immigrants transferred to Sanctuary Cities,” Trump said. “We hereby demand that they be taken care of at the highest level, especially by the State of California, which is well known (for) its poor management & high taxes!”

The U.S. now houses thousands of migrants at the border, but is running out of beds and instead is releasing new arrivals into the U.S. on their promise to appear at asylum hearings that might not occur for two years.

The Department of Homeland Security has said that Congress has not appropriated any money to transport the migrants from the border to far-flung sanctuary cities across the U.S., while the Immigration and Custom Enforcement agency has called it an “unnecessary operational burden.”

Sanders said, “Nobody thinks this is the ideal solution,” sending migrants to sanctuary cities. But she said mayors of cities “who want this… should be looking to help” Trump resolve the crisis at the border. She accused Congress of wanting to spend “all of its time investigating the president” rather than dealing with the immigration turmoil at the border.

Trump tweeted, “So interesting to see the Mayor of Oakland and other Sanctuary Cities NOT WANT our currently ‘detained immigrants’ after release due to the ridiculous court ordered 20 day rule. If they don’t want to serve our Nation by taking care of them, why should other cities & towns?”

 

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Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., arrives at the Capitol on the morning after House and Senate negotiators worked out a border security compromise hoping to avoid another government shutdown, in Washington, Feb. 12, 2019. VOA

Trump was referring to a court ruling prohibiting the U.S. from detaining migrant minors, those under 18 years old, for more than 20 days, before being required to release them to relatives in the U.S. or other care givers.

A key Republican lawmaker, Sen. Lindsey Graham, told another Fox News show, “Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo,” that after the current two-week congressional recess ends, he would introduce legislation that would authorize the detention of children beyond 20 days, “toughen up our asylum standards,” and allow migrant children to be returned to Central American countries, which is not now allowed once they have entered the United States.

ALSO READ: Mueller Report Release on 2016 US Presidential Elections Appears Imminent

“We’re never going to change this with troops and walls at the border,” Graham said of the U.S. immigration crisis. “Doing what we’re doing is not working.”

He added, “If you get one foot into the United States,” migrants can seek asylum. “The word is out that if you come with a minor, you’re never going to get deported. We need to change that narrative. We need troops at the border. We need a law. But these [U.S.] laws are insane.” (VOA)