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Trump Fail To Sell Wall

(WEBPUBLICA) New York – The US president’s Donald Trump first Oval Office speech on immigration crisis has come amid a contentious government shutdown as he and Congress dig in over the issue of the border wall. His “low energy” speech, as was described by some US TV networks (MSNBC) has been seen as an effort to sway public opinion, but fast results appear not to be in sight.

But even after more than 20 plus days – a record long shut-down of US government in the history Democrats in the US Congress didn’t show any sign they will allow more than $ 5 billion for the wall costs. Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House even said the wall is immoral and not consistent with the American values.

Präsident Trump spricht vom Oval Office aus die Nation zur Grenzsicherheit an (Getty Images/C. Barria-Pool)

President has made a prime-time appeal to US citizens in an attempt to convince them of the humanitarian and security crisis on the southern border with Mexico.

Accor4ding the news agencies, Trump said there was a “growing humanitarian and security crisis” at the US-Mexico border and said a border wall was ”absolutely critical” to national security, DW (Deutsche Welle) reported.

The president, who repeated his demand for $5.7 billion (5 billion euros) in funding for a border wall, said he was urging Democrats to return to the White House to meet with him, saying it was “immoral” for “politicians to do nothing.”

However, the president stopped short of declaring a national emergency, which could have led to the project being funded by bypassing Congress.

In a rebuttal by the Democrats, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the president should stop holding the country “hostage” with the ongoing partial government shutdown. Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer stressed that they supported stronger border security, but not an ”expensive and ineffective” border wall.

“The symbol of America should be the Statue of Liberty, not a 30-foot wall,” said Schumer. He accused Trump of using the Oval Office to “manufacture a crisis,” and called on him to sign bills that would reopen the government while negotiations over border security went ahead.

Pelosi: Shutdown full of ‘misinformation and malice’

Trump made the speech on the 18th day of the shutdown over funding for his most famous campaign promise, the wall on the border between the US and Mexico. In her speech, Pelosi called the shutdown “senseless” and said it has been full of “misinformation and malice” from the president.

Thus far, some 800,000 federal workers have been furloughed or forced to work without pay as a result of the standoff. Many millions more could soon be affected due to lack of funding for food programs and public housing.

Trump, a self-proclaimed billionaire, claimed recently he could relate to those going without pay and unable to buy groceries or make rent and utilities payments, but said they will have to “make adjustments.”

Read more DW stories: Trump administration downgrades EU mission to US

US government shutdown: The human cost

The country’s national parks and judicial system have also been thrown into chaos over the fight, which shows no signs of abating. Trump has in recent days said that the shutdown could go on “for years.”The president has specifically tried to paint Democrats as the belligerent party, labeling them as obstructionists.

Democrat leaders have insisted that Trump forget the issue of the wall for now and reopen the government instead. Although Democrats have said they would be willing to give the president $1.6 billion (€1.4 billion) for border security, he has insisted he will accept nothing less than the $5 billion he is asking for, even going so far as to demand $5.7 billion in recent days.

Read more: Trump will be impeached in 2019, says ‘prediction professor’

A self-made crisis?

The administration has claimed the situation at the US-Mexico border has reached a crisis point, but opponents say this is not the case, and that the worsening situation is the result of Trump’s shutdown tactics.

The president’s remarks were also aimed at another group of viewers. Increasingly, Republicans are concerned about the long-term political ramifications of the fight on their own popularity, and by extension their re-election chances in 2020.

Read more: 2018: The year Trumpian disruption rocked German politicsWashington Capitol Senate Congress (picture-alliance/CNP/A. Edelma)

  • US GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWNS: A CHRONOLOGY

    Sundown shutdown

    As midnight approaches on September 30 of each year, it’s go time for Congress: approve a budget or shut down government operations. Originally, Article I, Section 9 of the constitution required lawmakers to approve the budget. Honing it further in 1870, the Anti-Deficiency Act targeted agencies that spent money without asking. But meeting deadlines was a chronic problem. That is, until the 1980s.

Unfounded claims

Last week, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said her agency had encountered more than 3,000 suspected terrorists trying to enter the United States at the southern border, a claim for which she offered no evidence. Nevertheless, Trump administration spokespersons have regularly repeated such claims in an effort to convince citizens of the urgency of a border wall.

The border has been the scene of a number of incidents in which US authorities have fired tear gas into crowds of immigrants on the Mexican side of the existing border fence. Two children have also died in border patrol custody.

Donald Trump photo by Erol Avdovic, (Webpublica) New York September 2018

Donald Trump photo by Erol Avdovic, (Webpublica) New York September 2018

Illegal crossings dropped to less than 400,000 last year, from 1.6 million in 2000, yet asylum and immigration processing delays have caused huge backups at the border creating serious problems for those attempting to enter the US. Critics also point out that many of those who are in the country illegally are not there because they entered illegally, but rather because they overstayed their visas.

Read more: Opinion: Trump uses old tricks in shutdown talks with new Congress

Run for the border

Critics have called the president’s insistence upon a wall an obsession driven by ego and racist tendencies, but he and his administration maintain he is simply concerned with protecting American citizens.

Though Trump has sought to sell his new proposal to build the wall of steel slats rather than concrete as a concession to Democrats, lawmakers from that party have said they are opposed because they see the wall as immoral and ineffective.

Democrats have called the wall a grossly outdated solution to a 21st century problem, and insist border security can be improved by hiring more border agents and improving technology.

On Wednesday, Trump and Vice President Mike Pence will meet with Senate Republicans on Capitol Hill, before the president heads south to visit the border on Thursday (Source – DW).

Read more DW stories: ‘Migrant caravan was my only chance’ for a better life

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