Donald Trump needs $5 billion to get his wall on U.S.’s southern border with Mexico – a promise that was reiterated time and again during his election campaign in 2015-16. Soon after his win, he tried to convince Mexico to pay for the wall which the Central American country refused. And now with Democrats taking control of the House of Representatives, the US President has hit a brick wall when it comes to getting access to funding.
In a televised speech, that the US President requested news channels in the U.S. to create air time for him, Trump makes the case for why the U.S. needs a wall on the southern border. Ahead of the speech on Tuesday, Vice-President Mike Pence said Trump's decision to address the nation "comes from this president's deep desire to do his job to protect the American people".
- Trump starts of his speech saying that the country needs the border wall to stem the growing humanitarian and security crisis at the southern border.
- The immigration matter, Trump said, is "a crisis of the heart, a crisis of the soul."
- The US President blames the Democrats for the current lack of funds to provide security to the American people despite the fact that Republicans controlled both the houses till two months ago.
- President Trump said, “All Americans are hurt by uncontrolled illegal immigration,” and said the country $500 billion is spent on various services to deal with illegal immigration – which could be saved with a $5 billion border wall.
- The US President highlights how “illegal aliens” with criminal history are “destroyed families” despite the fact that they had no right to be in the U.S. – again all which will be prevented by his border wall.
- Trump also said the wall will stop the drugs which are ferried through Mexico from South America.
- While painting this picture of a crisis, Trump placed the blame for the current government shutdown on Democrats despite saying not two weeks ago in a televised argument with opposition party leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi that he would own the shutdown. "The government remains shut down for one reason and one reason only – the Democrats will not fund border security," Trump said in his speech made from the Oval Office.
- Trump also tried to paint the border wall funding as paying for itself with, "The wall will also be paid for indirectly by the great new trade deal we have made with Mexico." Even if the United States Mexico Trade Agreement ends up raising tax revenue, the money does not go towards a wall as it will go into the country’s general coffers.
- Trump said he would continue talking with Democrats to get funding for his wall but made no mention of whether he would reopen the government. Due to the government shutdown over the border wall, more than 8 lakh American government workers have been temporarily laid off or are working without pay.
Soon after Trump’s address, Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer were to make their address to counter the President’s claims for the need of a ‘steel barrier’ on US’s border with Mexico.