Posted by 09 January 2019
Saying there was “a growing humanitarian and security crisis,” President Donald Trump used a televised speech from the Oval Office to call for Democrats in Congress to support funding for a border wall. Democratic leaders, however, said that the president was pushing “misinformation” and “malice.”
President Trump and Democrats in Congress are at odds over $5 billion in funding for portions of a wall that the president wants built on the U.S.-Mexico border. He has refused to sign legislation that would fund parts of the federal government because it did not contain this funding. This has led to a partial government shutdown that is going into its third week.
Democratic leaders Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi appeared on television after President Trump to dismiss his call for a wall and instead urge him to sign legislation to re-open the government. They say that the president is manufacturing a crisis for political gain.
According to President Trump, the lack of a wall has led to undocumented immigrants entering the U.S. and committing a range of crimes. He focused on some of these crimes during his address. He said that the U.S. will be safer with a wall to stop criminals and drug smugglers from entering the nation. Critics dispute the president’s characterization of the situation, noting that illegal immigration is down from historic highs and that undocumented immigrants do not disproportionately commit violent crimes.
The president has been considering using his powers to declare a national emergency in order to use military construction funding to build a wall. He did not take this step during his address, instead he urged people to contact Congress in support of a border wall. It remains unclear what steps he will take if Congress refuses to consider such funding.
Do you support a border wall? Should the president sign legislation to re-open parts of the federal government even if he doesn’t receive his wall funds?