Donald Trump’s speech on U.S.-Mexico border wall funding

Donald Trump’s speech on U.S.-Mexico border wall funding

Pence has also stated that Trump's address would lay out the facts of what the administration has called a humanitarian and security crisis at the southern border.

US President Donald Trump is scheduled to address Americans on the issue of his proposed border wall + on Tuesday night (Wednesday morning IST), amid fears he might go down the slippery slope of declaring a national emergency to draft the US military and its budget for the project.

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.

The big question was whether Trump would use the occasion to declare a national emergency at the border, giving himself considerable new powers and sidestepping Congress's control of the purse strings. It was not clear whether he might do so at a later date.

Instead, they saw his speech as a tactic to try to get out of a political predicament: The partial shutdown of the federal government, now entering its 17th day, triggered by Trump's demand for funding for a border wall.

Trump, who has long railed against illegal immigration at the border, has recently seized on humanitarian concerns to argue there is a broader crisis that can only be solved with a wall along the US-Mexico border.

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"Tuesday night at 9pm Eastern", Trump tweeted on Monday, even as critics of the wall maintained there was no crisis, and fencing the border is a Trump obsession aimed at riling up his anti-immigration base.

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 president said children illegally brought into the U.S. are "used as human pawns by vicious coyotes and ruthless gangs", while women and children are "the biggest victims by far of our broken system".

In a brief rebuttal, House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer demanded that Mr Trump end the shutdown.

"Now that the television networks have made a decision to air the President's address, which if his past statements are any indication will be full of malice and misinformation, Democrats must immediately be given equal airtime", they demanded in a joint statement on Monday night. The vice president stressed that there is indeed a crisis, adding that it must be taken care of before the administration can move onto negotiating other parts of the USA national security funding.

Mr Trump wants $5.7 billion to build a wall or fence along the Mexican border. Cory Booker of New Jersey called it an effort to "extort funds" for an 'unnecessary and nonsensical border wall'.

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"We don't think that's the American way", Hoyer told reporters on Tuesday.

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.

A new opinion poll suggests just over half of Americans (51%) blame President Trump for the government shutdown.

The California congresswoman added: "And the fact is: President Trump must stop holding the American people hostage, must stop manufacturing a crisis, and must reopen the government".

American democracy doesn't work that way.

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