On Tuesday night, Donald Trump addressed the nation to make his case for funding the infamous border wall. The President believes that there is a crisis on the U.S. border with Mexico, and in eight minutes he attempted to convince the nation of the same.
The Presidential Points
The President began his address by claiming that ALL Americans are hurt by “illegal migration,” but especially black and Hispanic Americans. He cited that illegal immigrants drive down wages and take jobs from hardworking American citizens. However, the fact is that with the country near full employment, many companies are having trouble finding employees to fill certain positions.
Next, President Trump attempted to paint incoming immigrants as drug and human traffickers. He stated that 90 percent of heroin entering the U.S. does so across the southern border. What he didn’t mention is that much of that comes in through legal points of entry (checkpoints and airports), areas where a border wall or barrier won’t make a difference.
He also attempted to paint the border wall as something that law enforcement and border patrol agents working with Homeland Security has specifically asked for. Therefore, in refusing to grant funding for such a barrier, Democrats and other politicians are going against the wishes of law enforcement.
Finally, President Trump cited several heartwrenching crimes that have been perpetrated by illegal immigrants. “How much more American blood must we shed,” the President asked, “before Congress does its job?” However, the fact is, the crime rate among illegal immigrants is considerably lower than among other groups.
The Democratic Response
Following the President’s address, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader were given a chance to rebut the points the President made in his address.
“The President has chosen fear,” Pelosi said. “We want to start with facts.” Both politicians pointed to bipartisan solutions offered in an attempt to end the shutdown, claiming that the President has rejected these because they lack the $5 billion in funding for the border wall.
Pelosi admonished the President for “holding hostage” services and money that the 800,000 federal employees and contract workers desperately need to live. “The President promised to keep the shutdown going for months or years, no matter who it hurts,” Pelosi said. “That’s just wrong.”
Schumer also took a moment to admonish the President, saying, “We don’t govern by temper tantrum.” He stated that Democrats, Republicans, and the President all agree that the country needs stronger border security. The disagreement is on the methods. He suggested passing those measures that both parties do agree on (technology investments, more border security agents, etc), and opening the government while allowing the debate to continue on other methods. Schumer stated that there is “no excuse for hurting millions of Americans over policy differences.”
He ended his address by saying:
“The symbol of America should be the Statue of Liberty, not a 30ft wall.”
Jenn Bentley is a writer and editor originally from Cadiz, Kentucky. Her writing has been featured in publications such as The Examiner, The High Tech Society, FansShare, Yahoo News, and others. When she’s not writing or editing, Jenn spends her time raising money for Extra Life and advocating for autism awareness.