S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster has tried to maximize the endorsement he received from President Donald Trump, frequently invoking Trump's name during his campaign to win the Republican nomination for governor.
This week has been no exception for McMaster, who continued to align himself with Trump. In campaign stops Monday in North Charleston and Spartanburg, McMaster voiced his support for the Trump Administration's controversial immigration policy.
"I agree with the president 100 percent. If we don’t have secure borders, if a country doesn’t have borders, you don’t have a country, so we must secure the borders," McMaster said in Spartanburg, goupstate.com reported. "Now the President is determined to see that it’s done in the right way, what he’s doing right now is he’s following the law, unlike some other chief executives who did not follow the law."
McMaster was responding to a question regarding the Trump Administration's policy of separating families at the border.
McMaster's opponent in the GOP runoff race, Greenville businessman John Warren, also said he backs the president's policy.
“President Trump is right," Warren told The State, "it’s time the Democrats in Congress come to the table and work with the President to finally do something to protect our borders and stop the flow of illegal immigrants into our country."
Nearly 2,000 children have been separated from their families at the U.S. border over a six-week period during a crackdown on illegal entries, according to The Associated Press. U.S. protocol prohibits detaining children with their parents because the children are not charged with a crime and the parents are.
McMaster was pressed on the issue again in North Charleston and continued to display his support for Trump.
“When someone breaks the law, they don’t take their children with them wherever they go,” McMaster said after taking a phone call from Trump, postandcourier.com reported.
The policy has been criticized widely by church groups, politicians and children's advocates who say it is inhumane. That hasn't caused McMaster to waver in his support.
"Now, these are situations where you have young children, of course, those situations existed throughout the law, but again the law needs to be enforced," McMaster said, according to goupstate.com.
At both campaign stops, McMaster brought up sending members of the S.C. Army National Guard in May to help secure the border — at Trump's request.
A helicopter and nine S.C. Army National Guard troops are part of the forces at the Mexican border, according to a statement from the governor's office.
“The president wanted troops at the border; South Carolina sent troops to the border,” McMaster said, according to goupstate.com. “If they ask again, we’ll keep on sending."
McMaster was one of Trump's earliest supporters in the 2016 Republican presidential primary.