President Donald Trump delivered his first Oval Office address to the American People on Tuesday night with a short speech dedicated to making the case for the border wall.
The address was notable for the emotional touches that Trump showed when he talked about the devastating impact of illegal immigration on American families whose loved ones had been killed and hurt by criminal aliens.
Trump argued that a wall is necessary to stop the flow of dangerous drugs and crime into the country and called upon his Democratic colleagues to work with him to protect the American people. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) followed up with a rebuttal in which they claimed that Trump had “manufactured” a border crisis.
Trump gives emotional speech on border
Combining facts and figures with a solemn and serious tone, Trump declared that there is a “growing humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border” and laid out an argument for why the border wall is necessary for the country’s national security and prosperity. Trump noted the damage to the economy, safety, public health and many lives, American and foreign, that uncontrolled illegal immigration causes.
Trump said that uncontrolled illegal immigration “strains public resources and drives down jobs and wages,” particularly for Hispanic and black Americans, and noted that deadly drugs coming from south of the border kill more Americans every year than all of the U.S. casualties in the Vietnam War. Trump also noted the danger of admitting unvetted illegal immigrants when Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) apprehended more than 250,000 illegal aliens in the last two years with criminal records.
Trump described the border crisis as a significant humanitarian challenge, noting that there is a sharp uptick in unaccompanied children and women coming across the border who are vulnerable to being preyed upon and that the federal government is running out of resources to house and detain illegal migrants.
Urges Democrats to cooperate
Trump said that the wall will be a steel barrier rather than one made of concrete as a concession to the Democrats, whom he blamed for prolonging the shutdown by refusing to be reasonable and negotiate to protect the country. Trump said that the wall is “common sense” and “absolutely critical” to border security but that the Democrats “refuse to acknowledge” the border crisis.
The president invited Democrats to work with him and challenged House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s claim that the wall is “immoral,” noting that “wealthy politicians” build walls around their homes not “because they hate the people on the outside but because they love the people on the inside.” Trump struck a personal tone when he described the tragic toll that he witnessed first-hand on families who have lost loved ones to illegal aliens, including a California police officer, Ronil Singh, who was senselessly murdered before Christmas.
“Over the last several years I have met with dozens of families whose loved ones were stolen by illegal immigration. I have held the hands of the weeping mothers and embraced the grief-stricken fathers. So sad, so terrible. I will never forget the pain in their eyes, the tremble in their voices, and the sadness gripping their souls. How much more American blood must we shed before Congress does its job?”
Democrats blast “manufactured” crisis
To Schumer and Pelosi, the devastated families that Trump described were feeling the impact of a “manufactured crisis.” Just as Trump accused them of doing, the top Democrats denied that there was a crisis at the border at all and laid the blame with Trump for throwing a “temper tantrum” and holding government workers affected by the shutdown “hostage.”
“Chuck and Nancy” claimed that they support border security but that Trump’s wall is too expensive and ineffective. They blamed Trump for rejecting “bipartisan” solutions to open the government that do not include the wall, but which they claimed would secure the border all the same.
Pelosi pointed to newfangled technology as a border security solution, something Trump has denounced as “bells and whistles” and an attempt to reinvent the wheel. Schumer said that the “symbol of America should be the Statue of Liberty, not a 30-foot wall.” Schumer demanded that Trump end the shutdown first before negotiating any further about border security.
Mainstream liberal networks had debated whether to broadcast Trump’s speech and came prepared to “fact check” Trump for his “lies,” but the Washington Post was criticized when the paper ludicrously complained in a “fact check” that “it’s important to keep in mind that [Trump’s] figure includes all types of crimes, including nonviolent offenses such as illegal entry or reentry.”
The Democrats don’t support border security and they have no intention of negotiating in good faith to protect the country. This has never been clearer now that the Democrats are calling the border crisis “manufactured,” an insult not only to American heroes like Singh but to all Americans who love their country and want common-sense border security.