Trump Calls Border Security a ‘Crisis’ as Democrats Challenge Claims

National Security Adviser John Bolton has contradicted earlier comments by Donald Trump saying US troops will not leave northeastern Syria until IS militants are defeated. Pic AP

National Security Adviser John Bolton has contradicted earlier comments by Donald Trump saying US troops will not leave northeastern Syria until IS militants are defeated. Pic AP

Mr 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 along the US-Mexico border. Trump plans a personal visit to the Mexican border on Thursday as he tries to put pressure on newly empowered Democrats in the shutdown standoff. The Democrats would need to persuade enough Republicans in both houses to vote with them to reach a two-thirds majority that would pass a spending bill over Mr. Trump's veto.

But after days of hinting he might use presidential powers to declare an emergency as a first step toward directing money for the wall without congressional approval, Trump said he would continue seeking a solution to the impasse with Congress. Trump often issues video messages from the White House, but has been more gun-shy than other presidents to use the bully pulpit of the primetime address to whip support on a political issue.

The President's address was the latest in a series of public appearances - including a Cabinet meeting, a statement in the White House briefing room at which he was flanked by border patrol officers, and a news conference last week - in which Mr Trump simply reiterated his demands without offering any concessions.

"I prefer that we get this resolved the old-fashioned way", Thune said. What's more, only 42% view the current situation at the southern border as a "crisis", and just 44% support the construction of a border wall at all.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks at an event alongside Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and federal government employees who are asking for an end to the partial US government shutdown on Wednesday.

U.S. President Donald Trump delivers a televised address to the nation from the Oval Office of the White House, in Washington, D.C., on January 8, 2019.

Did Trump's Oval Office address on Tuesday change any minds?

In his address, he also claimed that "the federal government remains shut down for one reason and one reason only-because Democrats will not fund border security".




For now, Trump sees this as winning politics.

As the shutdown enters its 19th day, 800,000 federal workers are increasingly likely to miss their first pay cheques, due at the end of the week.

"I've held the hands of the weeping mothers and embraced the grief-stricken fathers. The life of an American hero was stolen by someone who had no right to be in our country".

The Republican president ended talks after Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer stuck by their refusal to fund his planned US-Mexico border wall. So sad. So bad.

"This should have been done by all of the presidents that preceded me", Trump said.

In fact, a study by the libertarian Cato Institute a year ago found that crime rates among immigrants in Texas - both legal and unauthorized - were lower than those among native-born Americans.

The president also referred to how drugs such as meth, heroin, and fentanyl were coming through the southern border, and that this would be stymied by a wall that would pay for itself with a new trade deal with Mexico.

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