A humanitarian and security crisis at the southern border must be addressed, President Donald Trump told the country last night in his first Oval Office address. His speech also addressed the flow of drugs and crime, the high rates of abuse associated with human trafficking, and the use of children as pawns to thwart laws protecting the U.S. border from illegal entry.
“This is the tragic reality of illegal immigration on our southern border. This is the cycle of human suffering that I am determined to end,” Trump said, laying out a plan that includes drug-detection technology, increased border agents and immigration judges, $800 million in humanitarian assistance and medical support, legislative changes to ensure the safe return of children who enter the country illegally, and $5.7 billion for a “physical barrier” to help stop illegal entry.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer quickly responded to the address by saying there’s not really a crisis at the border. They told him that he should end the governmental shutdown, and said they could work on border security concerns in the months to come.
While pundits like to discuss who looked good and who looked bad in last night’s televised addresses, it’s worth pausing in appreciation of the various political leaders for taking part in the debate over national security and the extent of the problem caused by porous borders. Sometimes debates need to take place behind closed doors, but when competing ideologies are on display, it serves as a healthy public education about important issues that affect citizens’ lives.
The Democrats’ theme for the evening was “facts, not fear.” Many major media also adopted the same theme. The coordinated talking point began hours if not days before the speech even aired, with CNN’s Alisyn Camerota saying yesterday morning, “Fact-checkers are eating their Wheaties and getting extra rest since they will be working overtime tonight to separate fact from fiction on this border situation.” (Read more from “Media’s Angry Response to President Trump’s Oval Office Speech Comes up Short” HERE)