Three Big Lies From Donald Trump's Border Security Address, Explained

Brenda Watkins
January 9, 2019

In response to Trump claiming his wall would stop drug trafficking across the border, Smith said, "Government statistics show much of the heroin actually comes not over the unguarded border but through ports of call".

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the president has "chosen fear" in making the case to the American people for the border wall and Democrats "want to start with the facts".

The two leaders said this in a joint statement late Monday: "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".

In an eight-minute address on Tuesday night carried live by all the major U.S. television networks, Mr Trump said the federal government remained shut because of the Democrats. Eastern on ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, CNN and FoxNews.

Donald Trump is set to use the first Oval Office address of his presidency to portray a national security "crisis" on the US-Mexico border and demand billions of dollars for a wall, arguably the central promise of his short political career. Trump had spent days mulling declaring a state of emergency along the border that would have given him powers to bypass Congress, which has so far refused to fund the wall project, and draw funds from the military to build the border barrier. "Division, not unity", the NY senator said.

There were two audiences for Donald Trump's address to the nation on Tuesday night. In the run-up to the midterm elections, the President used campaign rallies to warn of the threat of an "invasion" by a caravan of migrants moving north through Mexico towards the U.S. border. The arguments were familiar - and some have already been debunked. The president, with his recent efforts, may have bought himself a bit more time for negotiations.

What's the reality at the border?

There is bipartisan legislation - supported by Democrats and Republicans - to re-open government while allowing debate over border security to continue.

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While the number of families coming over the border has risen sharply, the number of border arrests - the leading gauge of how many people are trying to cross illegally - is actually one-quarter of what it was in 2000, dropping from 1.6 million then to 400,000 in 2018.

He went on to mention more crimes committed by illegal immigrants as he tried to drive home his point. On Monday, Kellyanne Conway, the White House counselor, admitted that this was "an unfortunate misstatement" as most of the individuals were stopped at airports.

Mr Trump called on Democrats to return to the White House to meet with him, saying it was "immoral" for "politicians to do nothing".

A growing proportion of Americans blame Mr Trump for the government shutdown, although Republicans mostly support his refusal to approve a budget that does not include funds for the wall, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Tuesday.

What would an emergency declaration achieve?

Democrats have rejected the idea as an illegal overreach of presidential authority but Republican lawmakers - who repeatedly challenged former president Barack Obama's attempts to exert executive authority - have been relatively quiet.

Bar patrons in California to pedestrians on the street in NY flocked to the television to listen to Trump stop short of declaring a national emergency on America's southern border.

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