Monday, 18 March, 2019

Pelosi and Schumer reply to Trump's border wall speech - in full

US President Donald Trump paints the Mexico border as an open gate for criminals including rapists terrorists people with dangerous diseases and phony asylum seekers Trump Reportedly Trying to End Shutdown Without Looking Weak
Freda Brock | 09 January, 2019, 05:40

US President Donald Trump has used a nationally televised address to once again pitch his concept of a steel barrier at the border between the United States and Mexico to the American people, without taking the extreme step of declaring a national emergency.

Trump, who has long railed against illegal immigration at the border, has recently seized on humanitarian concerns to argue there is a broader crisis that can only be solved with a wall. The White House is reportedly asking networks to cover a speech by Trump following the border visit.

Trump's prime-time address, scheduled for 9 p.m. ET, will be the Republican president's latest attempt to persuade Democrats to back his barrier on the southern border. I've also embedded the video below. All networks carrying Trump's address have agreed to carry the Democrats' response.

In the past, Trump's talks to the nation have been carefully scrutinized for false information.

Mr Trump said an as-yet-unratified revamp of the North American Free Trade Agreement would pay for the wall, though economists have previously disputed this claim.

Despite the focus on the border with Mexico, most immigrants living in the US without authorization entered with visas and then stayed on when their documents ran out.

Democratic leaders have said that they are open to reaching a solution in the funding dispute.

"Done right, a nighttime Oval Office address can unite the country in trying times".

Media captionFive questions about Trump's border wall How did Democrats respond?

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"If his past statements are an indication, (the speech) will be full of malice and misinformation", House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the senior Democrat in the Senate, Chuck Schumer, said in a statement.

However, Democrats have called it a humanitarian crisis, while the Trump administration has framed it as an issue of national security, according to the New York Times. Pence said the White House counsel's office is looking at the idea.

Trump will continue pressing his case for the wall with a trip to the border on Thursday. Many officials and workers are now openly criticizing the President for holding them hostage in a fight they have nothing to do with. But even if blocked, Mr Trump could claim to his base that he had done what he could, while ending the damaging government shutdown.

With Trump heading to the border on Thursday, few saw a speedy path to resolution for the partial shutdown, which has furloughed 380,000 federal workers and forced an additional 420,000 to work without pay.

Experts say if the shutdown persists, Canadians entering the US will see an escalating impact at the northern border, where Customs and Border Protection officials are working without pay because their jobs are considered an essential service.

The shutdown, now into its 18th day, follows disagreement between the new Democrat-controlled House and the White House over budgeting several government departments whose funding has lapsed.

Trump's gambit is that the solemn setting will allow him to regain the momentum on the Mexico wall issue that helped him get elected in 2016 and has become an obsessive goal for supporters.

"Now that the television networks have made a decision to air the President's address, which if his past statements are any indication will be full of malice and misinformation, Democrats must immediately be given equal airtime", Schumer and Pelosi said in a joint statement.

"This barrier is absolutely critical to border security". Two Guatemalan children have died in border custody, while images of border patrol officers firing tear gas at migrants have raised the ire of critics.

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