How to watch Trump's border wall speech and Pelosi-Schumer rebuttal on

Tanya Cunningham
January 9, 2019

Look between the rhetoric and hyperbole of Donald Trump's address to the nation on Tuesday night and one fact stands out - he did not take the nuclear option.

Mr Trump's conservative allies have argued for him to declare a national emergency and use Defence Department funds to build a wall, seeing the move as his best chance of achieving the campaign promise while Democrats control the House.

But Mr Trump felt he needed more than a string of Tweets to try to break the stalemate with Democrats in Congress who refuse to find the $5.7bn dollars which he has requested. The next presidential election is nearly two years away, but his campaign is already paying for TV adverts condemning Democrats for opposing his policy.

In a brief rebuttal, House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer demanded that Mr Trump end the shutdown. While demanding that Democrats pony up the $5.7 billion he says he needs to get going on the wall, he has also insisted that the wall will pay for itself and that Mexico is paying for the wall.

"Tuesday night at 9:00 P.M. Eastern", Trump wrote on Twitter on Monday.

THE FACTS: His statement that people in the country illegally are a special menace to public safety is at odds with plentiful research.

A March study by the journal Criminology found "undocumented immigration does not increase violence".

"The passion you hear from President Trump, his determination to take this case to the American people, as he will tonight in his national broadcast from the Oval Office, comes from this president's deep desire to do his job to protect the American people", Vice President Mike Pence said on Tuesday morning during an appearance on ABC, reported the Associated Press.

In fact, a study by the libertarian Cato Institute a year ago found that crime rates among immigrants in Texas - both legal and unauthorized - were lower than those among native-born Americans. New York City, for example, has the nation's largest population of immigrants living in the country illegally - about 500,000 - and a year ago had only 289 murders among a total population of 8.5 million people, according to preliminary data. But because they love the people on the inside.

Jorge Barón, the executive director of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, joined Radio Sputnik's Loud & Clear Tuesday to discuss the Trump administration's potential expansion of executive authority. But mostly Trump still wants his wall, which Democrats describe as immoral as well as no solution to illegal immigration.

The President also repeated an assertion that the wall will be paid for by Mexico through the new U.S. -Mexico-Canada Agreement. For example, he has said the deal will dissuade some USA companies from moving operations to Mexico and he credits that possibility as a payment by Mexico for his wall. Trump stated inaccurately that it's "brand new". The deal has yet to be ratified in any member country and its chances of winning legislative approval are not assured.

Just a couple days later, Trump repeated the same notion.

Calling the immigration matter "a crisis of the heart and soul", Trump said the U.S. is "out of space" to accommodate illegal migrants, adding that it "strains public resources and drives down jobs" that "hurt all Americans". The president has been saying there's a "crisis" at the border practically since he first started campaigning for president. Also noteworthy: The contingent of active-duty USA troops at the border has been more than halved, dropping from a peak in the fall of about 5,900 to about 2,350 last week.

After years of using illegal immigration as a tool to bludgeon his opponents, including some inside the Republican Party, those not already onboard with Mr Trump's policies view his claims about border security with deep scepticism.

Watch the full statements by both Trump and the Democrats.

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