United States President Donald Trump on Tuesday said that the solution to the administration’s failure to meet a court’s deadline for reuniting separated undocumented immigrant parents from their children, is that such people should “stop entering the US illegally in the first place”.

“Well, I have a solution. Tell people not to come to our country illegally,” Trump told reporters on the White House’s south lawn, Politico reported. “That’s the solution. Don’t come to our country illegally. Come like other people do. Come legally. We have laws. We have borders.”

The Trump administration’s policy of referring all undocumented immigrants for criminal prosecution, which has led to the separation of children from their parents in many cases, has drawn severe criticism, especially from the Democratic Party. Though Trump signed an executive order on reuniting families last month, the government missed a court-mandated deadline of Tuesday to reunify about 100 children under the age of five with their parents.

The administration’s policy has led to some Democrats calling for the abolition of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, one of whose functions is deportation. Trump condemned these calls on Tuesday.

“The people that are fighting Immigration and Customs Enforcement, it’s a disgrace. These people go into harm’s way. There is nobody under greater danger than the people from Immigration and Customs Enforcement,” he said. “Democrats want open borders and they don’t mind crime. We want no crime and we want borders where borders mean something, all right?”