This afternoon President Trump took his message directly to the American people and shared his plan for border security and ending the government shutdown. It’s clear the President is willing to compromise, has consulted professionals while developing a plan and as always is putting the American people first. If Nancy Pelosi does not take the President’s proposal seriously and give it due consideration – even if that means negotiating parts of the President’s plan – it should become glaringly obvious to the American people that the Democrats only priority is opposing the President.
The President started his address by telling the American people “We believe in a safe and legal system of immigration. One that upholds our laws, our traditions and our most cherished values. Unfortunately our immigration system has been broken for a very long time. Over the decades many presidents and many law makers have come and gone and no real progress has been made on immigration. We are now living with the consequences and they are tragic”. The President continued “There is a humanitarian and security crisis on our southern border that requires urgent action. Thousands of children are being exploited by ruthless coyotes and vicious cartels and gangs. One in three women is sexually assaulted on the dangerous journey north”.
“Nearly 50 migrants a day are being referred for urgent medical care. Vast quantities of lethal narcotics are flooding through our border and into our communities including meth, cocaine heroin and Fentanyl” Trump said. “Drugs kill 78,000 Americans per year and cost our society in excess of $700 billion dollars. Heroin alone kills 300 Americans a week 90% of which comes through our southern border”.
Trump continued “Illegal immigration reduces wages and strains public services. The lack of border control provides a gateway, a very wide and open gateway, for criminals and gang members to enter the United States including the criminal alien who murdered a brave California police officer only a day after Christmas”.
President Trump told the American people “I want this to end. It’s got to end now. These are not talking points they are the heartbreaking realities that are hurting innocent precious human beings every single day on both sides of the border. As a candidate for President I promised I would fix this crisis and I intend to keep that promise one way or the other. Our immigration system should be the subject of pride not a source of shame as it is all over the world. Our immigration system should be the envy of the world not a symbol of disunity and dysfunction. The good news is these problems can be solved but only if we have the political courage to do what is just and what is right. Both sides in Washington must simply come together, listen to each other, put down their armor, build trust, reach across the aisle and find solutions. It is time to reclaim our future from the extreme voices who fear compromise and demand open borders which means drugs pouring in, human trafficking and a lot of crime”.
The President says he is speaking to America to “break the log jam and provide congress a path forward to end the government shutdown and solve the crisis on the southern border. If we are successful in this effort we will then have the best chance in a very long time and real bipartisan immigration reform”.
“The proposal I will outline today is based first and foremost on input from our border agents and homeland security professionals It is a compassionate response to the ongoing tragedy on our southern border” Trump said.
In recent weeks the President has met with a large number of democrat lawmakers to hear their ideas and suggestions. He says that by incorporating the priorities of rank and file Democrats in his plan he hopes they will offer their enthusiastic support.
The President said this is a common sense compromise that both parties should embrace. “The radical left can never control our borders” and Trump says he will never let that happen. “Walls are not immoral in fact they are the opposite of immoral because they will save many lives and stop drugs from pouring into our country” the President said.
Trump outlined his plan as follows;
$800 million in urgent humanitarian assistance.
$805 million for drug detection technology to help secure our ports of entry.
An additional 2,750 border agents and law enforcement professionals.
Seventy-five immigration judge teams to reduce the court backlog of 900,000 cases.
Critical measures to protect migrant children from exploitation and abuse.
A new system to allow central American minors to apply for asylum in their home countries.
Reform to promote family reunification for unaccompanied children at the U.S. border.
Physically secure the border including $5.7 billion for the strategic deployment of physical barriers. “This is not a 2,000 mile concrete structure from sea to sea the President said “these are steel barriers in high priority locations “.
The President said “If we build a powerful and fully designed see through steel barrier on our southern border the crime rate and drug problem in our country would be quickly and greatly reduced.”. The President continued “A steel barrier will help us stop illegal immigration while safely directing commerce to our lawful ports of entry”. The President said that many of these security ideas have been proposed by Democrats themselves and all of them have been supported by Democrats in the past including a physical barrier wall or fence.
The President said that in order to build the trust and goodwill necessary to begin real immigration reform there are two more elements to his plan;
Three years of legislative relief for 700,000 DACA recipients brought here unlawfully by their parents. This will give them access to work permits, social security numbers, and protection from deportation.
Three years of temporary protective status or TPS. That President says that 300,000 immigrants with protected status is facing expiration will now have three more years of certainty so that congress can work on immigration.
Trump called his plan “straight forward, fair, reasonable and common sense with lots of compromise“.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has pledged to bring this bill to a vote in the United States Senate this week. Trump says his plan is not designed to solve all of our immigration challenges but is designed to solve the immediate crisis and immediately reopens the federal government.
Trump closed his address by saying his “first duty and ultimate loyalty is to the American people”.
You can watch President Trump’s entire address below;
Democratic leadership has not yet responded to the President’s proposal. As we’ve previously discussed many leaders in the Democratic party including Pelosi, Schumer, Clinton and even President Obama agreed that there is a crisis at our southern border and even agreed with President Trump’s approach to border security. It was not until then candidate Trump talked about the crisis at our southern border during his presidential campaign and promised a wall that Democrats changed their tune.
The Democrats are using the 800,000 federal workers not getting paid during the government shutdown as pawns in their political game. If Nancy Pelosi does not take the President’s proposal seriously and give it due consideration – even if that means negotiating parts of the President’s plan – it should become glaringly obvious to the American people that the Democrats only priority is opposing the President denying him a win on a key campaign issue.
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