Published: Thu, January 10, 2019
Arts&Culture | By Matthew Castillo

Trump's 'National Emergency' is Bogus, 'Humanitarian Crisis' is Real

Trump's 'National Emergency' is Bogus, 'Humanitarian Crisis' is Real

Critics immediately panned President Donald Trump's prime-time speech pushing for a U.S. -Mexico border wall for its numerous lies and misrepresentations, even on the president's favorite network.

His speech was a compendium of arguments, some of dubious nature, that he has made before: the border is being overrun by risky criminals who have committed violent crimes in the U.S.; migrant women and children are being victimised; the opioid crisis stems directly from a flood tide of illegal drugs crossing the southern border; his plan to secure that border includes advanced technology, more law enforcement personnel and, yes, a barrier costing $US5.7 billion ($8 billion) that would be made of steel slats, in deference, he said, to Democrats who oppose a concrete wall - a change Democrats say they never asked for.

In their joint response to Trump's speech, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer pointed to a number of spending bills lawmakers have already passed that would reopen the government and provide money for border security.

The shutdown is the third under Trump's watch and the longest since 1995.

"Over the years, thousands of Americans have been brutally killed by those who illegally entered our country and thousands more lives will be lost if we don't act right now", Trump said.

At a private meeting with House Republicans, Vice President Mike Pence cited a C.S. Lewis quote calling courage a virtue, and he said Trump has no plans to retreat. That's because the federal government has been partially shutdown for over two weeks.

He said he was conceding to the Democrats in making the wall steel rather than concrete, as he painted illegal immigrants as criminals and drug dealers who put a strain on public resources and fuel the deaths of Americans by drugs.

"The President is rejecting these bipartisan Bills, which would reopen government, over his obsession with forcing American taxpayers to waste billions of dollars on an expensive and ineffective wall, a wall he always promised Mexico would pay for", Ms Pelosi said. Trump has promised to keep it partially closed until Congress approves almost $6 billion in funding for a wall along the southern border.

Trump did not mention that idea Tuesday night.

The President also repeated an assertion that the wall will be paid for by Mexico through the new U.S. -Mexico-Canada Agreement. More than 800,000 federal workers have been furloughed or required to work without pay and services have been also disrupted for many other Americans.

"They don't build walls because they hate the people on the outside, but because they love the people on the inside".

The wall was the first major promise of Mr. Trump's presidential campaign, and a rallying cry for his supporters.

"There is a crisis that the president and his administration have created, and it's a humanitarian crisis of the people at the southern border whom are seeking asylum".

He claimed to have met "dozens of families whose loved ones were stolen by illegal immigration.I've held the hands of the weeping mothers".

The president often highlights such incidents, though studies over several years have found immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than people born in the United States.

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