Trump demands funding to end border 'crisis' in TV address

Posted January 09, 2019

Democrats and other opponents of a border wall had threatened to take legal action if Trump issued the order, arguing that he is manufacturing a crisis to carry out his 2016 presidential campaign promise for a wall that he said at the time would be paid for by Mexico.

The situation along the United States border with Mexico is a "growing crisis", President Donald Trump said on Tuesday (Jan 8), stressing that uncontrolled illegal immigration is hurting millions of Americans.

But with many Americans far from sold on Trump's lurid claims about illegal immigrants, criminals and terrorists overwhelming the border, the speech faces its own high barrier: credibility.

Though Mr Trump did not declare a national emergency on Tuesday night, analysts say he may still do so before the shutdown is resolved. Coons told Fox News, "I am someone who is willing to see more border fencing as long as we choose a technology that DHS says is going to be effective and I do think his moving towards steel slats rather than concrete wall, if it holds, is important".

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And on Tuesday Rep. Mac Thornberry of Georgia, the top Republican on the House Appropriations Committee, came out against the idea of reprogramming Pentagon funds to build the wall, saying he was 'opposed to using defense dollars for non-defense purposes'.

The paper reported it was unlikely Trump would declare a national emergency, citing sources familiar with Trump's planned remarks - although the president has been known to stray from the words put down on paper by aides.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, both Democrats, dismissed Trump's comments.

Floodlights from the United States illuminate multiple border walls on January 7, 2019, as seen from Tijuana, Mexico.

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The fact-checking nonprofit PolitiFact, run by the Poynter Institute, said on Twitter that it will live fact-check the president's address Tuesday night. But Trump rejects that legislation because it doesn't have funding for his border wall. But even if blocked, Mr Trump could claim to his base that he had done what he could, while ending the damaging government shutdown.

Federal employees will feel the pinch from the shutdown on Friday, when they will miss their paycheques for the first time, unless a deal is reached.

Pence said on Monday that progress was made in weekend talks that he led between administration officials and congressional staff over how to break the funding impasse and reopen the government. The shutdown, which has left some 800,000 government workers furloughed or working without pay, is also affecting national parks, airline security screening, housing and food aid, and economic data.

Harrowing tales are starting to emerge from the fallout due to the shutdown, including airport security workers calling in sick because they have not been paid and therefore can not make it to work.

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The unexpected length of the shutdown has raised the prospect that Trump would begin to lose support among Republicans anxious to reopen the government and doubtful of the White House strategy. He said Mexico would pay for it, although Mexico was always clear it would not, and he has now turned to Congress for the money. Two Guatemalan children have died in border custody, while images of border patrol officers firing tear gas at migrants have raised the ire of critics.