Dear Commons Community,
Last night President Trump (see above) addressed the country for nine minutes in an attempt to build support for his position on border security namely building a wall, barrier, or whatever you want to call it between the United States and Mexico. Resolving this issue would lead to reopening fully the federal government which has been in partial shutdown for more almost three weeks. Democrats Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer (see below) responded and made the case that the wall is not an effective barrier against illegal immigration. In my opinion, there was nothing new on either side.
The New York Times commented:
“Mr. Trump devoted the first prime-time Oval Office address of his presidency to his proposed barrier in hopes of enlisting public support in an ideological and political conflict that has shut the doors of many federal agencies for 18 days.
In a nine-minute speech that made no new arguments but included multiple misleading assertions, the president sought to recast the situation at the Mexican border as a “humanitarian crisis” and opted against declaring a national emergency to bypass Congress, which he had threatened to do, at least for now. But he excoriated Democrats for blocking the wall, accusing them of hypocrisy and exposing the country to criminal immigrants.
In their own televised response on Tuesday night, Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, accused the president of stoking fear and mocked him for asking taxpayers to foot the bill for a wall he had long said Mexico would pay for.
“President Trump must stop holding the American people hostage, must stop manufacturing a crisis and must reopen the government,” Ms. Pelosi said.
In taking his argument to a national television audience and on a trip to the Texas border he plans to take on Thursday, Mr. Trump hoped to reframe the debate. After spending much of the first two weeks of the shutdown cloistered in the White House, he has now opted to use the powers of the presidency to focus public attention on his ominous warnings about the border…”
Unfortunately, Trump’s position on this has become personal. Frank Bruni commented this morning that “the wall is a symbol of a need to have his ego shored up”, however, “there is not enough concrete in creation to do that job.”