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Trump Wants People Here Who ‘Won’t Forever Be Dependent on the System’

White House press secretary shared insights into president's words on immigrants, security, and American generosity

During an appearance on Fox News Channel’s “Outnumbered Overtime” with Harris Faulkner on Tuesday, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said President Donald Trump does not want to “bring people in” to this country who would be dependent “on the government for the next 50 years.”

Her comments came as a follow-up to a Breitbart article, in which the president was quoted as saying he does not want immigrants coming to the U.S. who are entirely dependent on America’s welfare programs.

“The point the president is making,” said Sanders in part, is that “America is the most generous and hospitable country on the face of the planet. We help millions of people all over the globe, whether it’s bringing them into our country or helping them in their home countries.”

And the president “doesn’t want to stop doing that,” she added. “But what he doesn’t want to do is bring people in that will forever — and if you read the full context of the quote, he says [it’s about people who] would be dependent on the government for the next 50 years.”

“We have trillions of dollars in debt,” Sanders said. “Frankly, the system we have right now is unsustainable. We don’t have the resources to care for our veterans the way that we should. We don’t have the resources to care for Americans [the way] that we should. The president wants to see those things fixed. The president has long talked about the fact he wants a merit-based system [and] that hasn’t changed.”

Regarding whether that meant that immigrants would have to be rich when they get here, she said, “Not at all. The president wants people to be empowered. He wants people that won’t forever be dependent on the system. That’s actually one of the greatest things about America … that we don’t want people dependent on the system.”

Sanders also addressed the recent remarks by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who said that efforts to impeach President Trump would not be worth it and that is she is not for that.

“Look, I think Nancy Pelosi is clearly already starting to lose control of her party,” said Sanders. “I think we’re seeing that on a lot of the things that have taken place over the last couple of weeks. I’m glad that she sees what the rest of us see, and that there’s no reason, no cause, for impeachment. The president’s done an incredible job in his first two years in office,” she added.

Related: Why Pelosi Declares She Is Not for Impeachment

“The country is better than it’s been in decades and we’re actually making progress on a number of fronts,” Sanders said. “I think it’s time for other Democrats in Nancy Pelosi’s party to get on board, [and to] start doing what they were elected to do — do their jobs and quit trying to focus so much on making excuses for the historic loss that they suffered in 2016. Let’s work with the president and solve some real problems.”

“We know that we have a crisis at the border. Democrats know that we have a crisis at the border.”

Sanders also stressed the need to “secure the border. The president has a constitutional duty, and frankly Congress has given him constitutional authority in order to do what is necessary to protect the people in this country. We know that we have a crisis at the border. Democrats know that we have a crisis at the border,” she said.

“Unfortunately, the president is the only one stepping up and saying, ‘Look, I’m not going to continue to kick the can down the road — I’m going to make sure that we put forward things that work.”

“And one of the things that we know that works is securing the border and you have to have a wall in order to do that.”

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