Trump and Trudeau have 'fruitful discussion' on immigration

The Canadian PM said he would not "lecture" the US on how to govern itself

Trump and Trudeau have 'fruitful discussion' on immigration

Picture by Andrew Harnik AP/Press Association Images

President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have expressed their differences on immigration following talks at the White House.

The US leader, 70, has taken a hardline stance with his controversial travel ban affecting people from seven mostly Muslim countries and refugees.

On the other hand, liberal Prime Minister Mr Trudeau, 45, has stated his country would continue to pursue its policy of openness towards refugees without compromising security.

At the time of the travel ban being introduced last month, Mr Trudeau tweeted: "To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength."

Today, Mr Trump, when asked by a reporter at a press conference whether he was confident the US border with Canada was secure, responded: "You can never be totally confident."

The President also told the assembled media that the US has "many, many" security problems.

He added that he and Mr Trudeau had some "wonderful ideas on immigration" and added: "We have some very strong, very tough ideas on the tremendous problem we have with terrorism."

Mr Trump went on to say: "We are taking people, very hardened criminals in some cases ... and we are getting them out and that is what I said I would do."

Immigration arrests

Shortly after the news conference, Homeland Security John Kelly revealed US immigration officers have arrested more than 680 people in recent operations, 75% of whom are convicted criminals.

Mr Kelly said the crimes committed by the undocumented immigrants ranged from homicide to driving under the influence of alcohol.

At the news conference, Mr Trump also pointed out America and Canada were "going to have a great relationship, maybe as good or better than ever before".

Mr Trudeau said he had some "fruitful discussions" with the President on security and immigration.

But he added he would not "lecture" the US on how to govern itself.

He explained: "There’s plenty that we can draw on each other from in terms of how we move forward with a very similar goal, which is to create free, open societies that keep our citizens safe. And that's certainly something that we're very much in agreement on."

Mr Trudeau's gift to the President was a photograph of the PM's father, former leader Pierre Trudeau, at an event with Mr Trump in 1981.

Meanwhile, the President said America will be "tweaking" its trade relationship with Canada, unlike its trade ties with Mexico, where it faces a more severe situation.

He said: "We have a very outstanding trade relationship with Canada. We'll be tweaking it.

"It's a much less severe situation than what's taking place on the southern border. On the southern border, for many, many years the transaction was not fair to the United States."

During the presidential election campaign, the Republican billionaire pledged to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the US, Canada and Mexico.

He called NAFTA the "worst trade deal in history," and blamed it for the loss of manufacturing jobs in America's Rust Belt - states that helped him win the election.