Trump tells US-born Democrats 'go back' to own country
Donald Trump last night told a group of Democrat congresswomen to "go back" to the places they came from as his administration launched a nationwide crackdown on illegal immigration.
The US president launched a Twitter tirade against the congresswomen, who have been highly critical of his immigration policies, telling them "You can't leave fast enough."
Late on Saturday night agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) began the first of a series of raids, which will take place in at least 10 cites over several days.
They planned to arrest at least 2,000 illegal immigrants, including families, who are on so-called "rocket dockets", which means they have been sent court orders telling them to leave the country.
An estimated 11 million illegal immigrants are currently in the United States.
Democrats have argued the policy will lead to the separation of families, and undocumented immigrants who have jobs and US children being swept up.
On Twitter, Mr Trump addressed "'Progressive' Democrat Congresswomen," which appeared to be a reference to a group of outspoken, liberal, recently elected women.
They include Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.
Mr Trump said: "So interesting to see "Progressive" Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful nation on earth, how our government is to be run.
"Why don't they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came? Then come back and show us how it is done."
All the women are US citizens and only Ms Omar was not born in the US. She was born in Somalia, and is the first black Muslim woman in Congress.
Nancy Pelosi, the Democrat House Speaker, accused Mr Trump of "xenophobia" and wanting to "make America white again".
Ms Ocasio-Cortez, who was born in New York and is of Puerto Rican descent, said on Twitter: "Mr President, the country I "come from", & the country we all swear to, is the United States."
Republican Representative Justin Amash, a Trump critic who recently took steps to leave his party, called the remarks "racist and disgusting".
As the immigration raids continued, Matthew Albence, ICE's acting director, said: "We are doing targeted enforcement actions against specific individuals." He said some families may be separated, for example if a father and child were in the country illegally, but a mother wasn't.