President Donald Trump on Wednesday morning criticized the Obama administration’s efforts to boost the number of minority students enrolled in federal colleges and universities, saying it was “disastrous.”
“Affirmative-action policies that allow for more students to be admitted into these schools is a terrible idea,” Trump said during an interview with Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly.
“It’s not just a terrible policy, it’s a bad law.”
The Trump administration’s plan, known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, has drawn bipartisan opposition, and many experts have criticized the plan for being too weak and based on flawed assumptions about the effects of affirmative action on college admissions.
Critics of the program say the Trump administration has created a loophole in the law that allows for students who were born in the United States to apply for college scholarships, even though the children were not eligible for the program.
Trump, speaking at a White House news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, said the Obama policy “is really terrible.”
He added: “It has been the most catastrophic thing for the economy and for our country.”
Trump also blasted the federal government for allowing more than 1 million students to enroll in private schools without federal assistance.
Trump has argued that the students were not deserving of any financial aid, which the administration disputes.
He said that the federal financial aid is supposed to be a one-time payment to states that provide free or low-cost school lunch.
“I think it’s so wrong that we have millions of kids who are coming out of college with nothing, and we have no help for them,” Trump added.
“We have no funding whatsoever.
We have no assistance whatsoever.”
The president also defended the $4 billion for infrastructure that the Department of Labor has allocated for states and localities, saying that money is needed to keep the lights on in cities like Chicago and Detroit.
He also said that Congress should pass a “strong” immigration overhaul, which he said would “keep our country safe.”
“This is a country of laws and not of men,” Trump continued.
“We have laws in this country that we are going to enforce, and if we have a country where everybody is going to be treated equally, then we will have laws, and I think that is what we are getting.
I think we are doing a great job of that.”