President Trump addresses nation about border wall and immigration

Talon Smith, Reporter

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President Trump delivered an address to the nation regarding illegal immigration and his proposed border wall on Tuesday, January 8.

Trump said, “A growing humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border.”

The president blamed the current government shut down on Democrats in Congress, claiming they have, “[…] refused to acknowledge the crisis, and they have refused to provide our brave border agents with the tools they desperately need to protect our families and our nation.”

Democratic leaders responded after the speech with a speech of their own. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer, the Minority Leader, called on Trump to reopen the government.

Schumer said, “We don’t govern by temper tantrum. No president should pound the table and demand he gets his way, or else the government shuts down.”

Pelosi said Trump has only worked to deepen the “humanitarian challenge” that concerns innocent women and children crossing the southern border.

Both the New York Times and the Washington Post fact-checked the speeches and found misinformation in both statements.

Misinformation in Trump’s speech included the “20,000 migrant children” that were supposedly brought into the United States illegally by “coyotes” or drug gangs. The 20,000 children he was referring to were part of the record of family units and unaccompanied minors crossing the border. These children could not have been smuggled into the U.S in the way Trump describes, as border officials screen for false claims of parentage.

The New York Times also found Trump’s claim that, “The federal government remains shut down for one reason and one reason only: because Democrats will not fund border security,” is false. Democrats have already offered $1.3 billion dollars for border security. In addition, Trump himself, in a meeting with Pelosi and Schumer, said he would take the blame for a government shutdown.

The New York Times went on to say that Schumer’s claim that the shutdown is “hurting millions of Americans who are treated as leverage,” needs more context. Eight hundred thousand federal workers are being directly affected by the shutdown. Millions of Americans are not being directly harmed. A larger amount than just the workers are affected when their families are factored in.

This shutdown has now become the longest government shutdown in American history. According to CNN, it surpassed the previous record on Saturday, January 12.

The record for the longest previous shutdown was 21 days and was caused, according to CNN, by a clash between President Bill Clinton and GOP congress.

The majority of Americans, according to a Pew Research Center poll, blame Trump for the shutdown.  The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research also found 6 in 10 blame President Trump for the shutdown in a poll released on January 24, 2019.