At 9pm ET President Trump made his first public address from the Oval Office, focusing on the border wall, and the security of the US–Mexico border.
Trump is so focused on scoring political points, that he is washing over a legitimate problem by not giving up on a wall that no one wants. Entire families are trying to cross the border, children and adults alike are being teargassed to keep them in Mexican territory. This is a problem that Trump could try to solve if only he gave up on his wall.
The key things we knew before this address, was that Trump and his people have continued to lie about facts concerning immigrants crossing illegally over the US–Mexico border. Trump has made it out to be thousands of “terrorists” crossing the US border, Sarah Huckabee Sanders stated that “nearly 4,000 known or suspected terrorists come into our country illegally,” mostly from the southern border. W. Ralph Basham who was previously the commissioner of the United States Border Protection said this number was “bull”. So how can we believe anything else Trump’s administrations says.
Trump opened his address saying there is a “growing crisis on the southern border” he continues by saying that America “proudly welcomes” people into this country but the US is “out of space”. Because of this, public resources are strained, which in turn affects all Americans.
Of course, Trump continues to use instances of violence to back up his points. Drugs have been a key talking point on border security for Trump and his administration. In this address, he says 90 per cent of drugs come from across the border, a “vast quantity” that, of course, this wall can stop. He hit into this point by saying that more Americans will die this year from drugs than in the entire Vietnam war.
He then went onto say that the journey immigrants are taking to cross the border is a treacherous one we need to fix, he says that 1 in 3 women are sexually assaulted on this journey. Trump has instead decided to use the humanitarian issue to grab people’s attention rather than the wall itself. He goes on to say that this is a “crisis of the heart, a crisis of the soul”. He is promising Americans that this wall will make the border “safer than ever before” and that the professionals at the border want and need this wall to keep the country safe. “It’s common sense,” says Trump.’
It’s clear that the aim of this address was to show the public that he does not want this wall for his personal satisfaction of giving his voters his number one pledge. But instead wanted to them to see the humanitarian help the country needs to give. However, he did this by putting the blame directly onto the Democrats.
Tump says that this all can be solved in a 45-minute meeting, but if so, why hasn’t he done this before?
Well, the Democrats have something to say about this. Their response was clear. We want a safe border, just as much as Trump. But why should taxpayers have to pay billions for an “immoral” wall?
Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi went onto say that Trump had denied reopening the government after Democrats said they want smart security at the border, but will not use taxpayer’s money to build a wall.
Democrats were clear, there is a humanitarian challenge that Trump’s counterproductive policies have only deepened, and he can’t just use the backdrop of the Oval Office to “manufacture a crisis”.
They are sick of his “temper tantrums”, he is prepared to shut down a government “no matter who it hurts” to get his own way. And Congress is having none of it.
Schumer ended with saying that the emblem of America should be the Statue of Liberty, not a 30ft wall.
This address was nothing if not a show of power. Trump wanted to use the backdrop of the Oval Office that commonly was only used on rare and important occasions, to make points that have already been made in the past. This address uncovered no new facts or truths about the security of the southern border, and will just be used as a brief talking point when referring to how Trump is unable to negotiate at all with Congress over vital legislation.