Trump focuses on illegal immigration in national address, amid government shutdown crisis

WASHINGTON DC —  “My fellow Americans, tonight I am speaking to you because there is a growing humanitarian and security crisis in our southern border… everyday, Customs and Border Patrol agents, encounter thousands of illegal immigrants trying to enter our country.”
On the 18th day of a partial U.S. government shutdown, President Donald Trump gave his very first primetime address from the Oval Office, aiming to sell the idea that there is crisis at the US-Mexico border, and that a wall is the answer to this crisis.

The president also tried to convince Americans that a border wall is needed to stop the flow of drugs into the US.

While it is true that the U.S. has an illegal drug use problem, then-Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly has testified before the Congress that most drugs are smuggled into the US via vehicles or mules — bodies of people who come through official ports of entry and not the areas in between them.

Experts also say that a wall would do little to stop the flow of illegal drugs into the U.S.

The president continues to portray illegal immigrants as criminals.

“In the last two years, ICE officers made 266,000 arrests of aliens with criminal records, including those charged or convicted of 100,000 assaults; 30,000 sex crimes and 4,000 violent killings,” Trump says.
But there is no evidence that immigration, including illegal immigration, increases the crime rate in the US.

A 2015 American immigration council research showed that immigrants are less likely to be criminals than native-born Americans, and that high rates of immigration are associated with lower rates of violent crime and property crime.

Top Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi responded to what they call: “The president’s manufactured crisis.”
“The President of the United States — having failed to get Mexico to pay for his ineffective, unnecessary border wall, and unable to convince the Congress or the American people to foot the bill — has shut down the government.American democracy doesn’t work that way. We don’t govern by temper tantrum. No president should pound the table and demand he gets his way or else the government shuts down, hurting millions of Americans who are treated as leverage.

The Democratic leaders are calling on the president to reopen the government, end this shutdown and negotiate with them on border security and not just a wall.

It’s not clear whether Trump is still considering to declare a national emergency due to what he believes is a border crisis. The president is set to visit the southwest border on Thursday.

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