Trump: US immigration at the Southern border is a “crisis of the heart and the crisis of the soul”
The US President addressed the nation on Tuesday night to update on the government shutdown and his infamous wall. He did not provide any clear solutions and continues his unyielding adherence to his campaign promise of building a wall along the Mexican border.
President Trump says the need for the wall is “common sense” and that it will “pay for itself” since the cost of illegal drugs is more than $500 billion, and the wall costs $5.7 billion to build. He also said Democrats are willing to agree on a steel wall rather than concrete, though this has been refuted by Democrats who are against any type of wall.
He didn’t, however, mention any progress regarding the government shutdown that is in its third week, nor did he declare a national emergency to bypass Congress like he said he would.
He instead blamed Democrats’ refusal to fund “border security” as the reason for the shutdown, even as fact checkers quickly asserted that Democrats have approved many spending bills to strengthen security, which do not include a wall.
This comes after White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said more than 4,000 terrorists have been stopped at the border, when official records mention only six. Kellyanne Conway called this an “unfortunate misstatement”, further saying that terrorists are usually stopped at airports.
The Trump’s administration unwavering belief that immigration is a criminal crisis and a matter of national security is what is indeed causing the shutdown.
Though the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, calls the wall an “immorality”, there are other reasons why the wall does not merit any funding, the main one being that drug smuggling, terrorism, and human trafficking all generally occur at legal points of entry, like airports, and not through the allegedly “porous” Mexican border.
Moreover, “high interest individuals”, as Vice President Mike Pence termed them, are those that were apprehended at the border, either by crossing illegally, without a passport or with fake documents, or attempting re-entry, and not violent offenders or drug smugglers. He stated that 17,000 of these individuals were apprehended at the border, using them as leverage for building the wall.
Meanwhile, Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer also gave a televised address, calling for an end to the shutdown before they can move forward with negotiations regarding the wall.
They said the situation on the border was not a “security threat” but a “humanitarian challenge” that is being “deepened” by Trump’s counterproductive policies. With Pelosi saying his campaign is based on “fear instead of fact”.
Their statement, which has since been subject to countless jokes on Twitter for resembling a pair of disappointed parents, urged the president to stop “manufacturing a crisis” and open up the government.
Author: Ana Hernandez