On Tuesday, Jan. 8, United States President Donald Trump addressed the nation on the “growing humanitarian crisis” at the southern border of the country. Trump also made it clear that the government shutdown will continue until increased border security becomes a reality.
The president said, “All Americans are hurt by uncontrolled illegal migration,” stating that the Americans hit the hardest by illegal immigration are African Americans and Hispanic Americans.
Trump also expressed that “borders are known for (the) transport of illegal drugs,” tracing America’s heroin and opioid problems to the southern border with Mexico.
“This is the cycle of human suffering that I am determined to end,” Trump said.
While the proposal is made to “keep America safe, safer than ever before,” the modified border plan includes special technology to detect weapons or other illegal products from entering the U.S.
“The federal government remains shut down, for one reason and one reason only, because Democrats will not fund border security” – U.S. President Donald Trump
In the meantime, Trump said that personnel are looking for more bed space for the families waiting at the border from the migrant caravan and better medical support for those people as well.
Trump encouraged that “Congress close border security loopholes so immigrant children can be safely returned back home.”
As opposed to the original plan of building a concrete border wall, the president has agreed to compromise with a $5.7 billion steel fence.
Despite his willingness to compromise on the material used to build the barrier, he stated that “the federal government remains shut down, for one reason and one reason only, because Democrats will not fund border security … the only solution is for Democrats to pass a suspending bill that allows the wall; this could be solved in a 45-minute meeting”
The president advocated for Congress to “rise above partisan politics to increase border security.”
Following the president’s address, Nancy Pelosi, majority speaker of the House, and Chuck Schumer, the minority Senate leader, addressed the nation.
Pelosi stated that “sadly, the president has chosen fear,” continuing to say Democrats want to reopen the government. She also expressed that keeping this shutdown in place means that the president is withholding paychecks from hundreds of people, including veterans.
Schumer suggested the separation of the shutdown from the issue of border security, nothing that both sides of the aisle are willing to put that issue aside to reopen the government. He also blamed Trump for using this crisis to “divert attention from the turmoil in his administration.”