KANSAS CITY — President Donald Trump emphasized law enforcement cooperation, particularly when enforcing immigration laws, during his visit Friday afternoon to Missouri.
Wrapping up the 2018 Project Safe Neighborhoods National Conference at the Westin Crown Center, Trump said the PSN program proves why it is important for law enforcement at all levels of government to work together, adding "nowhere is this cooperation more important than when it comes to enforcing our nation's immigration laws."
Led by the United State Department of Justice, Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is a nationwide initiative that helps federal, state and local law enforcement officials, prosecutors and community leaders identify crime issues and develop solutions to address those problems, according to the department's website.
"Every day, our brave ICE officers are working with the state and local partners to get some of the world's most violent criminals off our streets, and we get them the hell out of our country," Trump told hundreds of attendees. "Removing these deadly poisons and vicious predators from our neighborhoods depends upon partnerships with local communities and their elected leaders and officials."
Trump said ICE has arrested over 235,000 aliens with criminal records since he took office, adding those criminal records include assaults and murders. He said ICE and Border Patrol also seized more than 2.8 million pounds of illicit narcotics last year.
According to the Council of Economic Advisers, Trump said, illegal heroin cost the country $238 billion in 2016.
"We're talking about a wall for $15 billion, $20 billion, I could even do it cheaper," Trump said. "You're talking about hundreds of billions of dollars, and you're talking about a fraction (for the wall). You'd make it up in a month by having a proper wall."
He added Congress must "fully fund border security in the year-ending funding bill."
United States Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, and former U.S. Attorney General and Missouri Gov. John Ashcroft also addressed conference attendees during the three-day conference.
Shortly before his Kansas City visit, Trump announced he would nominate William Barr as his next attorney general. Barr served as attorney general under former President George H.W. Bush.