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

Donald Trump

That's what we got today on the Donald Trump parallel reality prime time show from the Oval Office as the U.S. president exploited his powerful office to reel off a litany of scare stories about illegal immigration and a non-existent "humanitarian crisis" at the United States border while 800,000 federal government workers are working without pay since 22 December a year ago because of the ongoing shutdown over Trump's tantrum over getting his $5.7 billion for a border wall.

He repeated his demand for US$5.7 billion in funding for a wall on the border with Mexico, but stopped short of calling for a much-touted state of emergency. "A crisis of the soul", Mr Trump said. Added Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer: "The symbol of America should be the Statue of Liberty, not a 30-foot wall".

The fact is: President Trump has chosen to hold hostage critical services for the health, safety and well-being of the American people and withhold the paychecks of 800,000 innocent workers across the nation - many of them veterans. Speaking in solemn tones from behind the Resolute Desk, he painted a dire picture of killings and drug deaths he argues come from unchecked illegal immigration. Government figures do not suggest anything close to a crisis-level influx of unauthorized immigrants; the number of people apprehended crossing the Mexican border, which US officials use as a proxy measure for how many people are trying to cross in total, is a quarter what it was two decades ago. The wall will also be paid for, indirectly, by the great trade deal we have made with Mexico.

But the president would be accused of usurping Congress's constitutional power of the purse, and the move would be bogged down in a quagmire of legal challenges.

President Donald Trump and Democratic leaders in Congress made clear Tuesday in nationally televised remarks that while each side supports border security efforts, they remain far apart on the scale and cost of what those measures should be.

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Schumer said after the meeting that Trump threatened to keep the government shut down for " months or even years ". Rashida Tlaib of MI used some profanity when discussing her desire to see President Donald Trump impeached.

The government has been partly shuttered since December 22, when Mr. Trump announced he would not sign a funding bill that did not contain wall funding. The President will travel to the border on Thursday to once again make his case for the wall.

Some Democrats have in the past been willing to negotiate some sort of wall funding in exchange for presidential backing of immigration changes that would allow people brought to the US illegally as children receive legal status.

Matt Dallek, a political historian at George Washington University, predicted that as the shutdown drags on, pressure will mount on Mr. Trump to back down from his demands. That's because the federal government has been partially shutdown for over two weeks. Almost half the GOP Senate caucus is up for re-election next year, putting added pressure on them to get the shutdown over with. Democrats controlling the House have agreed to fund only Dollars 1.3 billion for border security. Trump's shtick is getting old and boring, Republicans are slowly breaking from his creed, the first rumblings are being heard today. Newly empowered Democrats, meanwhile, have been urged by their base to fight Mr Trump's signature campaign pledge.

There may be a crisis in the government's inability to handle a record high number of families crossing the border and legally claiming asylum. But recent years have seen an uptick in asylum seekers fleeing Honduras and other Central American countries and arriving at the US border.

Such concerns were heightened at the weekend when Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, claimed that 4,000 known or suspected terrorists had been apprehended at the southern border.

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