Democrats win shutdown battle with Trump, for now

January 26, 2019


Jan. 25, 2019. President Trump signed a short-term spending bill to re-open the government, ending the longest partial federal government shutdown in U.S. history. Trump insisted that he had not caved on his sought-after funding for border security. He tweeted later: “I wish people would read or listen to my words on the Border Wall. This was in no way a concession. It was taking care of millions of people who were getting badly hurt by the Shutdown with the understanding that in 21 days, if no deal is done, it’s off to the races!”

Jan 25, 2019. “I don’t see this as any power play,” Nancy Pelosi said during a press conference on Capitol Hill. Pelosi says Democrats’ “unity is our power. And that is what maybe the president underestimated.”

Chuck Schumer said Trump learned another important lesson after repeatedly clashing with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during a 35-day partial government shutdown. Schumer says: “No one should ever underestimate the speaker, as Donald Trump has learned.” Schumer says Trump agreed to end the shutdown because “he knew that it was a lost cause.”

Trump not only failed in his effort to secure a border wall funding; he also bowed to Pelosi’s demand to reschedule the State of the Union. Speaker Pelosi gets her SECOND HUGE WIN this week! Pelosi’s victory over Trump will cement her power as she and House Democrats flex their muscles with their newfound majority.
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Original Transcript
Remarks by President Trump on the Government Shutdown
IMMIGRATION Issued on: January 25, 2019
Rose Garden
2:17 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. My fellow Americans, I am very proud to announce today that we have reached a deal to end the shutdown and re-open the federal government. (Applause.) As everyone knows, I have a very powerful alternative, but I didn’t want to use it at this time. Hopefully it will be unnecessary.

I want to thank all of the incredible federal workers, and their amazing families, who have shown such extraordinary devotion in the face of this recent hardship. You are fantastic people. You are incredible patriots. Many of you have suffered far greater than anyone, but your families would know or understand. And not only did you not complain, but in many cases you encouraged me to keep going because you care so much about our country and about its border security.

Again, I thank you. All Americans, I thank you. You are very, very special people. I am so proud that you are citizens of our country. When I say “Make America Great Again,” it could never be done without you. Great people.

In a short while, I will sign a bill to open our government for three weeks until February 15th. I will make sure that all employees receive their back pay very quickly, or as soon as possible. It’ll happen fast. I am asking Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to put this proposal on the floor immediately.

After 36 days of spirited debate and dialogue, I have seen and heard from enough Democrats and Republicans that they are willing to put partisanship aside — I think — and put the security of the American people first. I do believe they’re going to do that. They have said they are for complete border security, and they have finally and fully acknowledged that having barriers, fencing, or walls — or whatever you want to call it — will be an important part of the solution.

A bipartisan Conference Committee of House and Senate lawmakers and leaders will immediately begin reviewing the requests of our Homeland Security experts — and experts they are — and also law enforcement professionals, who have worked with us so closely. We want to thank Border Patrol, ICE, and all law enforcement. Been incredible. (Applause.)

Based on operational guidance from the experts in the field, they will put together a Homeland Security package for me to shortly sign into law.

Over the next 21 days, I expect that both Democrats and Republicans will operate in good faith. This is an opportunity for all parties to work together for the benefit of our whole beautiful, wonderful nation.

If we make a fair deal, the American people will be proud of their government for proving that we can put country before party. We can show all Americans, and people all around the world, that both political parties are united when it comes to protecting our country and protecting our people.

Many disagree, but I really feel that, working with Democrats and Republicans, we can make a truly great and secure deal happen for everyone.

Walls should not be controversial. Our country has built 654 miles of barrier over the last 15 years, and every career Border Patrol agent I have spoken with has told me that walls work. They do work. No matter where you go, they work. Israel built a wall — 99.9 percent successful. Won’t be any different for us.

They keep criminals out. They save good people from attempting a very dangerous journey from other countries — thousands of miles — because they think they have a glimmer of hope of coming through. With a wall, they don’t have that hope. They keep drugs out, and they dramatically increase efficiency by allowing us to patrol far larger areas with far fewer people. It’s just common sense. Walls work.

That’s why most of the Democrats in Congress have voted in the past for bills that include walls and physical barriers and very powerful fences. The walls we are building are not medieval walls. They are smart walls designed to meet the needs of frontline border agents, and are operationally effective. These barriers are made of steel, have see-through visibility, which is very important, and are equipped with sensors, monitors, and cutting-edge technology, including state-of-the-art drones.

We do not need 2,000 miles of concrete wall from sea to shining sea — we never did; we never proposed that; we never wanted that — because we have barriers at the border where natural structures are as good as anything that we can build. They’re already there. They’ve been there for millions of years.

Our proposed structures will be in pre-determined high-risk locations that have been specifically identified by the Border Patrol to stop illicit flows of people and drugs. No border security plan can ever work without a physical barrier. Just doesn’t happen.

At the same time, we need to increase drug detection technology and manpower to modernize our ports of entry, which are obsolete. The equipment is obsolete. They’re old. They’re tired. This is something we have all come to agree on, and will allow for quicker and safer commerce. These critical investments will improve and facilitate legal trade and travel through our lawful ports of entry.

Our plan also includes desperately needed humanitarian assistance for those being exploited and abused by coyotes, smugglers, and the dangerous journey north.

The requests we have put before Congress are vital to ending the humanitarian and security crisis on our southern border. Absolutely vital. Will not work without it.

This crisis threatens the safety of our country and thousands of American lives. Criminal cartels, narco-terrorists, transnational gangs like MS-13, and human traffickers are brazenly violating U.S. laws and terrorizing innocent communities.

Human traffickers — the victims are women and children. Maybe to a lesser extent, believe or not, children. Women are tied up. They’re bound. Duct tape put around their faces, around their mouths. In many cases, they can’t even breathe. They’re put in the backs of cars or vans or trucks. They don’t go through your port of entry. They make a right turn going very quickly. They go into the desert areas, or whatever areas you can look at. And as soon as there’s no protection, they make a left or a right into the United States of America. There’s nobody to catch them. There’s nobody to find them.

They can’t come through the port, because if they come through the port, people will see four women sitting in a van with tape around their face and around their mouth. Can’t have that.

And that problem, because of the Internet, is the biggest problem — it’s never been like this before — that you can imagine. It’s at the worst level — human trafficking — in the history of the world. This is not a United States problem; this is a world problem. But they come through areas where they have no protection, where they have no steel barriers, where they have no walls. And we can stop almost 100 percent of that.

The profits reaped by these murderous organizations are used to fund their malign and destabilizing conduct throughout this hemisphere.

Last year alone, ICE officers removed 10,000 known or suspected gang members, like MS-13 and members as bad as them. Horrible people. Tough. Mean. Sadistic. In the last two years, ICE officers arrested a total of 266,000 criminal aliens inside of the United States, including those charged or convicted of nearly 100,000 assaults, 30,000 sex crimes, and 4,000 homicides or, as you would call them, violent, vicious killings. It can be stopped.

Vast quantities of lethal drugs — including meth, fentanyl, heroin, and cocaine — are smuggled across our southern border and into U.S. schools and communities. Drugs kill much more than 70,000 Americans a year and cost our society in excess of $700 billion.

The sheer volume of illegal immigration has overwhelmed federal authorities and stretched our immigration system beyond the breaking point. Nearly 50 migrants a day are being referred for medical assistance — they are very, very sick — making this a health crisis as well. It’s a very big health crisis. People have no idea how big it is, unless you’re there.

Our backlog in the immigration courts is now far greater than the 800,000 cases that you’ve been hearing about over the last couple of years. Think of that, though: 800,000 cases because our laws are obsolete. So obsolete. They’re the laughing stock all over the world. Our immigration laws, all over the world — they’ve been there for a long time — are the laughing stock, all over the world.

We do not have the necessary space or resources to detain, house, vet, screen, and safely process this tremendous influx of people. In short, we do not have control over who is entering our country, where they come from, who they are, or why they are coming.

The result, for many years, is a colossal danger to public safety. We’re going to straighten it out. It’s not hard. It’s easy, if given the resources.

Last month was the third straight month in a row with 60,000 apprehensions on our southern border. Think of that. we apprehended 60,000 people. That’s like a stadium full of people. A big stadium.

There are many criminals being apprehended, but vast numbers are coming because our economy is so strong. We have the strongest economy now in the entire world. You see what’s happening. We have nowhere left to house them and no way to promptly remove them. We can’t get them out because our laws are so obsolete, so antiquated, and so bad.

Without new resources from Congress, we will be forced to release these people into communities — something we don’t want to do — called catch-and-release. You catch them. Even if they are criminals, you then release them. And you can’t release them from where they came, so they go into our country and end up in places you would least suspect. And we do as little releasing as possible, by they’re coming by the hundreds of thousands.

I have had zero Democrat lawmakers volunteer to have them released into their districts or states. And I think they know that, and that’s what we’re going to be discussing over the next three weeks.

The painful reality is that the tremendous economic and financial burdens of illegal immigration fall on the shoulders of low-income Americans, including millions of wonderful, patriotic, law-abiding immigrants who enrich our nation.

As Commander-in-Chief, my highest priority is the defense of our great country. We cannot surrender operational control over the nation’s borders to foreign cartels, traffickers, and smugglers. We want future Americans to come to our country legally and through a system based on merit. We need people to come to our country. We have great companies moving back into the United States. And we have the lowest employment and the best employment numbers that we’ve ever had. There are more people working today in the United States than have ever worked in our country. We need people to come in to help us — the farms, and with all of these great companies that are moving back. Finally, they’re moving back. People said it couldn’t happen. It’s happening.

And we want them to enjoy the blessings of safety and liberty, and the rule of law. We cannot protect and deliver these blessings without a strong and secure border.

I believe that crime in this country can go down by a massive percentage if we have great security on our southern border. I believe drugs, large percentages of which come through the southern border, will be cut by a number that nobody will believe.

So let me be very clear: We really have no choice but to build a powerful wall or steel barrier. If we don’t get a fair deal from Congress, the government will either shut down on February 15th, again, or I will use the powers afforded to me under the laws and the Constitution of the United States to address this emergency. We will have great security.

And I want to thank you all very much. Thank you very much.

Original Transcript
Remarks by President Trump on the Humanitarian Crisis on our Southern Border and the Shutdown
Issued on: January 19, 2019
Diplomatic Reception Room
4:07 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: Just a short time ago, I had the honor of presiding over the swearing-in of five new great American citizens. It was a beautiful ceremony and a moving reminder of our nation’s proud history of welcoming legal immigrants from all over the world into our national family.

I told them that the beauty and majesty of citizenship is that it draws no distinctions of race, or class, or faith, or gender or background. All Americans, whether first generation or tenth generation, are bound together in love and loyalty, friendship and affection.

We are all equal. We are one team, and one people, proudly saluting one great American flag. We believe in a safe and lawful system of immigration, one that upholds our laws, our traditions, and our most cherished values.

Unfortunately, our immigration system has been badly broken for a very long time. Over the decades, many Presidents and many lawmakers have come and gone, and no real progress has been made on immigration.

We are now living with the consequences — and they are tragic — brought about by decades of political stalemate, partisan gridlock, and national neglect.

There is a humanitarian and security crisis on our southern border that requires urgent action. Thousands of children are being exploited by ruthless coyotes and vicious cartels and gangs. One in three women is sexually assaulted on the dangerous journey north. In fact, many loving mothers give their young daughters birth control pills for the long journey up to the United States because they know they may be raped or sexually accosted or assaulted. Nearly 50 migrants a day are being referred for urgent medical care.

Vast quantities of lethal narcotics are flooding through our border and into our communities, including meth, cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl. Drugs kill 78,000 Americans a year and cost our society in excess of $700 billion. Heroin alone kills 300 Americans a week, 90 percent of which comes across our southern border. We can stop heroin.

Illegal immigration reduces wages and strains public services. The lack of border control provides a gateway — and a very wide and open gateway — for criminals and gang members to enter the United States, including the criminal aliens who murdered a brave California police officer only a day after Christmas.

I’ve gotten to know and love Angel moms, dads, and family who lost loved ones to people illegally in our country. I want this to end. It’s got to end now. These are not talking points. These are the heartbreaking realities that are hurting innocent, precious human beings every single day on both sides of the border.

As a candidate for President, I promised I would fix this crisis, and I intend to keep that promise one way or the other. Our immigration system should be the subject of pride, not a source of shame, as it is all over the world. Our immigration system should be the envy of the world, not a symbol of disunity and dysfunction.

The good news is, these problems can all be solved but only if we have the political courage to do what is just and what is right.

Both sides in Washington must simply come together, listen to each other, put down their armor, build trust, reach across the aisle, and find solutions.

It is time to reclaim our future from the extreme voices who fear compromise and demand open borders, which means drugs pouring in, human trafficking, and a lot of crime.

That is why I am here today, to break the logjam and provide Congress with a path forward to end the government shutdown and solve the crisis on the southern border. If we are successful in this effort, we will then have the best chance in a very long time at real, bipartisan immigration reform. And it won’t stop here. It will keep going until we do it all.

The proposal I will outline today is based on, first and foremost, on input from our border agents and homeland security professionals — and professionals they are. They know what they’re doing. It is a compassionate response to the ongoing tragedy on our southern border.

In recent weeks, we have met with large numbers of Democrat lawmakers to hear their ideas and suggestions. By incorporating the priorities of rank-and-file Democrats in our plan, we hope they will offer their enthusiastic support. And I think many will.

This is a commonsense compromise both parties should embrace. The radical left can never control our borders. I will never let it happen. Walls are not immoral. In fact, they are the opposite of immoral because they will save many lives and stop drugs from pouring into our country.

Our plan includes the following: $800 million in urgent humanitarian assistance; $805 million for drug detection technology to help secure our ports of entry; an additional 2,750 border agents and law enforcement professionals; 75 new immigration judge teams to reduce the court backlog of, believe it or not, almost 900,000 cases. However, the whole concept of having lengthy trials for anyone who sets one foot in our country unlawfully must be changed by Congress. It is unsustainable. It is ridiculous. Few places in the world would even consider such an impossible nightmare.

Our plan includes critical measures to protect migrant children from exploitation and abuse. This includes a new system to allow Central American minors to apply for asylum in their home countries, and reform to promote family reunification for unaccompanied children, thousands of whom wind up on our border doorstep.

To physically secure our border, the plan includes $5.7 billion for a strategic deployment of physical barriers, or a wall. This is not a 2,000-mile concrete structure from sea to sea. These are steel barriers in high-priority locations. Much of the border is already protected by natural barriers such as mountains and water. We already have many miles of barrier, including 115 miles that we are currently building or under contract. It will be done quickly. Our request will add another 230 miles this year in the areas our border agents most urgently need. It will have an unbelievable impact.

If we build a powerful and fully designed see-through steel barrier on our southern border, the crime rate and drug problem in our country would be quickly and greatly reduced. Some say it could be cut in half. Because these criminals, drug smugglers, gangs, and traffickers do not stop at our border; they permeate throughout our country and they end up in some places where you’d least expect them. They go all over our country. A steel barrier will help us stop illegal immigration while safely directing commerce to our lawful ports of entry.

Many of these security ideas have been proposed by Democrats themselves, and all of them have been supported by Democrats in the past, including a physical barrier, wall, or fence.

Furthermore, in order to build the trust and goodwill necessary to begin real immigration reform, there are two more elements to my plan.

Number one is three years of legislative relief for 700,000 DACA recipients brought here unlawfully by their parents at a young age many years ago. This extension will give them access to work permits, Social Security numbers, and protection from deportation, most importantly.

Secondly, our proposal provides a three-year extension of Temporary Protected Status, or TPS. This means that 300,000 immigrants whose protected status is facing expiration will now have three more years of certainty so that Congress can work on a larger immigration deal, which everybody wants — Republicans and Democrats. And our farmers and vineyards won’t be affected because lawful and regulated entry into our country will be easy and consistent.

That is our plan: border security, DACA, TPS, and many other things. Straightforward, fair, reasonable, and common sense, with lots of compromise. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has pledged to bring this bill to a vote this week in the United States Senate.

Our proposal is not intended to solve all of our immigration challenges. This plan solves the immediate crisis — and it is a horrible crisis. It is a humanitarian crisis like we rarely see in our country. And it provides humanitarian relief, delivers real border security, and immediately reopens our federal government.

If we are successful in this effort, then we can start the border [broader] project of remaking our immigration system for the 21st century. Once the government is open and we have made a down payment on border security, and immigration reform starts to happen, I plan to convene weekly bipartisan meetings at the White House so we can do a finished product, a great product — a product that we can all be proud of, having to do with that elusive immigration problem.

Whatever we do, I can promise you this: I will never forget that my first duty, and ultimate loyalty, is to you, the American people. Any reforms we make to our immigration system will be designed to improve your lives, make your communities safer, and make our nation more prosperous and secure for generations to come.

Thank you and God bless America. Thank you.

END 4:21 P.M. EST

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