The partial shutdown of the U.S. government has entered its 19th day. On Tuesday night, President Donald Trump addressed the nation in his first prime-time speech from the Oval Office. He urged Congress to approve $5.7 billion to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, but he opted not to declare a national emergency.
President Donald Trump: “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. This is a humanitarian crisis, a crisis of the heart and a crisis of the soul. Last month, 20,000 migrant children were illegally brought into the United States—a dramatic increase. These children are used as human pawns by vicious coyotes and ruthless gangs.”
Trump’s comments directly contradict numerous studies that show immigrants are less likely to commit violent crimes than U.S.-born citizens. Fact checkers also disputed other key aspects of President Trump’s claims about the drug trade and how his proposed border wall would be funded. Last week, Trump claimed that multiple former U.S. presidents told him they should have built a border wall while in office. All four living former U.S. presidents or their representatives have since denied the claim, saying they did not have this conversation with Trump.
After Trump spoke, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivered the Democrats’ response, rebuking Trump’s claims and calling for an end to the government shutdown, which will soon become the longest shutdown in U.S. history. We’ll have more on Trump’s address after headlines with Oscar Chacón, executive director of Alianza Americas.