“The bosom of America is open to receive … the oppressed and persecuted of all nations … if by decency and propriety of conduct they appear to merit the enjoyment.” —George Washington (1783)
IN TODAY’S EDITION
- A full analysis of Trump’s Oval Office address, as well as the Demo rebuttal.
- Daily Features: On the Web, Columnists, Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Opinion in Brief, and Short Cuts.
In his first Oval Office speech, President Donald Trump addressed the nation on the humanitarian and security crisis along our southern border. His remarks were brief, and adequately outlined the need for a secure southern border.
What follows are the president’s annotated remarks in full, key points in bold, followed by our analysis:
THE PRESIDENT: My fellow Americans: Tonight, I am speaking to you because there is a growing humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border.
Every day, Customs and Border Patrol agents encounter thousands of illegal immigrants trying to enter our country. We are out of space to hold them, and we have no way to promptly return them back home to their country.
America proudly welcomes millions of lawful immigrants who enrich our society and contribute to our nation. But all Americans are hurt by uncontrolled, illegal migration. It strains public resources and drives down jobs and wages. Among those hardest hit are African-Americans and Hispanic Americans.
A key point we have made repeatedly is that Democrats, out one side of their collective mouth, claim Hispanic and black Americans as their constituencies. Out of the other side, they advocate for virtual open borders, which “drives down jobs and wages.” Trump is correct — “those hardest hit are African-Americans and Hispanic Americans.”
Our southern border is a pipeline for vast quantities of illegal drugs, including meth, heroin, cocaine, and fentanyl. Every week, 300 of our citizens are killed by heroin alone, 90% of which floods across from our southern border. More Americans will die from drugs this year than were killed in the entire Vietnam War.
As we have documented, Mexican drug cartels are terrorist organizations that pose a serious and growing threat to our nation. Violent gangs are pouring across our southern border, which then establish drug networks for the cartels in American cities — including pipelines for deadly synthetic heroin produced by China. As a direct result, there are now more than more than 15,000 overdose deaths annually. According to the CDC, “Mexican [Transnational Criminal Organizations] control the movement of heroin that enters the United States across the [southwest border], until it reaches its destination in cities all over the United States.” Securing our border will significantly reduce the gangs and drugs coming across that border.
In the last two years, ICE officers made 266,000 arrests of aliens with criminal records, including those charged or convicted of 100,000 assaults, 30,000 sex crimes, and 4,000 violent killings. Over the years, thousands of Americans have been brutally killed by those who illegally entered our country, and thousands more lives will be lost if we don’t act right now.
This is a humanitarian crisis — a crisis of the heart and a crisis of the soul.
Last month, 20,000 migrant children were illegally brought into the United States — a dramatic increase. These children are used as human pawns by vicious coyotes and ruthless gangs. One in three women are sexually assaulted on the dangerous trek up through Mexico. Women and children are the biggest victims, by far, of our broken system.
The gangs associated with Mexican cartels, thanks in large measure to so-called “sanctuary cities,” have poured across our border and now infest many urban centers.
This is the tragic reality of illegal immigration on our southern border. This is the cycle of human suffering that I am determined to end.
My administration has presented Congress with a detailed proposal to secure the border and stop the criminal gangs, drug smugglers, and human traffickers. It’s a tremendous problem. Our proposal was developed by law-enforcement professionals and border agents at the Department of Homeland Security. These are the resources they have requested to properly perform their mission and keep America safe. In fact, safer than ever before.
The proposal from Homeland Security includes cutting-edge technology for detecting drugs, weapons, illegal contraband, and many other things. We have requested more agents, immigration judges, and bed space to process the sharp rise in unlawful migration fueled by our very strong economy. Our plan also contains an urgent request for humanitarian assistance and medical support.
Furthermore, we have asked Congress to close border-security loopholes so that illegal-immigrant children can be safely and humanely returned back home.
Finally, as part of an overall approach to border security, law-enforcement professionals have requested $5.7 billion for a physical barrier. At the request of Democrats, it will be a steel barrier rather than a concrete wall. This barrier is absolutely critical to border security. It’s also what our professionals at the border want and need. This is just common sense.
The border wall would very quickly pay for itself. The cost of illegal drugs exceeds $500 billion a year — vastly more than the $5.7 billion we have requested from Congress. The wall will also be paid for, indirectly, by the great new trade deal we have made with Mexico.
Senator Chuck Schumer — who you will be hearing from later tonight — has repeatedly supported a physical barrier in the past, along with many other Democrats. They changed their mind only after I was elected president.
In fact, Schumer, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama all supported strong border enforcement until they turned their backs on blue-collar workers and decided the influx of illegal immigrants might be the Democrats’ best pipeline for future voters.
Democrats in Congress have refused to acknowledge the crisis. And they have refused to provide our brave border agents with the tools they desperately need to protect our families and our nation.
The federal government remains shut down for one reason and one reason only: because Democrats will not fund border security. My administration is doing everything in our power to help those impacted by the situation. But the only solution is for Democrats to pass a spending bill that defends our borders and reopens the government.
The shutdown showdown has cast a long shadow into 2019, and may drag on. According to political analyst Brit Hume: “The Democrats … want to beat him on this [border debate] and leave him with nothing. That is where the impasse is … and I don’t see a way out of this anytime soon unless somebody decides it’s time to give ground. The president has tried to give some and it hasn’t gotten him anywhere, and he’s back to $5.7 billion. … I don’t see him giving ground.”
This situation could be solved in a 45-minute meeting. I have invited congressional leadership to the White House tomorrow to get this done. Hopefully, we can rise above partisan politics in order to support national security.
Some have suggested a barrier is immoral. Then why do wealthy politicians build walls, fences, and gates around their homes? They don’t build walls because they hate the people on the outside, but because they love the people on the inside. The only thing that is immoral is the politicians to do nothing and continue to allow more innocent people to be so horribly victimized.
America’s heart broke the day after Christmas when a young police officer in California was savagely murdered in cold blood by an illegal alien, who just came across the border. The life of an American hero was stolen by someone who had no right to be in our country.
Officer Ronil Singh, who immigrated to the United States legally, should be more than a statistic in the long list of illegal-immigrant violence against American citizens. At the swearing in ceremony for new California Gov. Gavin Newsom Monday, an advocate for “sanctuary cities,” a protester interrupted that festivity yelling, “Corporal Ronil Singh’s blood is on your hands! Shame on you! Shame on you!”
Day after day, precious lives are cut short by those who have violated our borders. In California, an Air Force veteran was raped, murdered, and beaten to death with a hammer by an illegal alien with a long criminal history. In Georgia, an illegal alien was recently charged with murder for killing, beheading, and dismembering his neighbor. In Maryland, MS-13 gang members who arrived in the United States as unaccompanied minors were arrested and charged last year after viciously stabbing and beating a 16-year-old girl.
Over the last several years, I’ve met with dozens of families whose loved ones were stolen by illegal immigration. I’ve held the hands of the weeping mothers and embraced the grief-stricken fathers. So sad. So terrible. I will never forget the pain in their eyes, the tremble in their voices, and the sadness gripping their souls.
How much more American blood must we shed before Congress does its job?
To those who refuse to compromise in the name of border security, I would ask: Imagine if it was your child, your husband, or your wife whose life was so cruelly shattered and totally broken?
To every member of Congress: Pass a bill that ends this crisis.
To every citizen: Call Congress and tell them to finally, after all of these decades, secure our border.
This is a choice between right and wrong, justice and injustice. This is about whether we fulfill our sacred duty to the American citizens we serve.
When I took the Oath of Office, I swore to protect our country. And that is what I will always do, so help me God.
Thank you and good night.
A couple points I would make in closing:
President Trump will fly to the border on Thursday to meet with those on the front lines of the national security and humanitarian crisis.
The Republican National Committee’s Chairwoman, Ronna McDaniel summarized the president’s remarks:
“Tonight, Americans saw their president fighting for a solution to fund our government while protecting American citizens, versus the approach of Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, which is to resist, resist, resist at all costs. It wasn’t always this way. President Trump is simply asking Democrats to support border-security policies they all supported just a few short years ago. It’s time for Democrats to put down their swords and work with President Trump.
"When 2,000 people are crossing our border illegally every day, when you have a backlog of 800,000 asylum cases that are backlogged in our courts right now, we are being deluged, and we do not have the capacity to deal with this inundation of people coming across our border illegally. It has to be addressed. It’s getting worse and worse and worse. For decades we have seen politicians talk about this: Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer.
"We just released a website, BorderFacts.com that goes through all the things that other politicians have said. The president is saying, ‘It’s time to put away politics as usual and solve problems that every American and every Democrat and Republican knows need to be solved.’”
Political analyst Mark Levin offered this observation: “Let’s keep this in mind when you watch Schumer and Pelosi. They are a pathological liars. They fooled Reagan, they fooled Bush (41), they fooled Bush (43). But they’re not going to fool Donald Trump.”
Our colleague Gary Bauer has provided a succinct assessment of Democrat obstruction of border security. And there are many “essential government employees” who are not on paid vacation right now, and who should not be forgotten in the midst of that Democrat obstruction.
It is time for Democrats to put American workers and veterans first.
Schumer and Pelosi — The Automaton Bobblehead Rebuttal
Looking like a couple of bobblehead automatons, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (NY) gave the Democrat response to Trump’s address. In their brief rebuttals, both impugned Trump’s motives for seeking a border wall with overwrought emotive language, including words like “malice,” “stoking fear,” “obsession,” “cruel,” and “temper tantrum.” Neither actually addressed the merits of Trump’s argument; rather they insisted that Trump was simply “manufacturing a crisis” in order to get his own way.
Naturally, Pelosi and Schumer ignored the facts of the not-so-distant past — that Democrats just as much as Republicans for the past 20 years have been ringing alarm bells over the crisis of illegal immigration. As Trump reminded the American people, Schumer and other Democrats have voted and called for a border wall. So who exactly is guilty of exploiting this long-running crisis?
Schumer called a wall “expensive and ineffective,” but how does that stack up to not building a barrier? Trump is asking for a mere $5 billion to build a wall to help deter illegal border crossing, while a 2017 study conservatively estimates the taxpayer burden of illegal immigration to be $155 billion annually. It’s disingenuous for Schumer to claim he’s concerned about the wall’s expense when he’s actually more concerned that a wall would be too effective in stemming illegal immigration.
Furthermore, Pelosi and Schumer laughably demanded that Trump capitulate to their legislative efforts to end the shutdown and then negotiate over the wall. But what motive would they have to negotiate once they’ve received what they desire? The answer is obvious — Americans have seen Lucy pull the football away from Charlie Brown too many times in the past.
Finally, a few Republicans weighed in on the Pelosi/Schumer rebuttal. Sen. Lindsey Graham declared, “I’m flabbergasted to hear from my Democratic colleagues who have voted for billions of dollars in border security money that this is ‘manufactured.’ Was it manufactured when Obama wanted the money? No. Why did you give the money to Obama and Bush if it was a manufactured crisis?”
And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell slammed his Democrat colleagues, “President Trump reaffirmed his commitment to addressing the humanitarian and security crisis at our nation’s southern border. His proposal to increase security through physical barriers suits the reality on the ground. It’s what career Border Patrol experts support and are asking for. And it simply builds on earlier legislation that Senate Democrats like then-Senator Obama, then-Senator Clinton, and Senator Schumer previously supported with enthusiasm. The past eighteen days have shown that Democrats’ refusal to negotiate is not due to any principled objection, but simply due to partisan spite for the president. For the men and women of the Border Patrol, for the safety of American families, and for all Americans who deserve a fully operational federal government, I sincerely hope my Democratic colleagues will come to the table and help deliver a solution.”
I hope he’s not holding his breath.
ON OUR WEBSITE TODAY
- The Shutdown’s Essential Personnel Remain on the Job — Let’s not forget the essential government employees who are not on paid vacation.
- Study: Discrimination Now Favors Women — Women aren’t oppressed in America. In fact, the truth is very much the opposite.
- Chinese Moon Landing Warrants Action — It was a remarkable technological achievement — and a big-time warning for America.
- House Dems Introduce Latest Anti-Gun Bill — Their “new” “gun control” legislation aims to mandate “universal” background checks.
- Video: These Are the Families Impacted by Illegal Immigration — The Republican National Committee released a new ad featuring Americans killed by illegals.
BEST OF RIGHT OPINION
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.
- Don’t tie tragic National Park deaths to the government shutdown (Reason)
- Leftists’ plans extend health care to illegal aliens, placing them on par with U.S. citizens (The Washington Times)
- New California governor vows “sanctuary to all who seek it” (CBS Los Angeles)
- Federal agencies cut over $16 billion in regulations in 2018 (The Washington Free Beacon)
- U.S.-China trade talks wrap up in Beijing as hopes of a deal build (Reuters)
- Broward Sheriff Scott Israel tells staff he’s being suspended over Parkland response (Miami Herald)
- Pentagon: Military logistics system not ready for war with China or Russia (The Washington Free Beacon)
- Cancer deaths decline 27% over 25 years (U.S. News & World Report)
- Judge says Christian baker Jack Phillips’ lawsuit against civil rights officials can proceed (The Daily Signal)
- Humor: With government shut down, citizens forced to interfere in their own lives (The Babylon Bee)
- Policy: Easy money is driving the boom-bust cycles (Foundation for Economic Education)
- Policy: Some steps to reforming our bureaucracies (The Daily Signal)
For more of today’s news, visit Patriot Headline Report.
For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.
For more of today’s top cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.
OPINION IN BRIEF
Ben Shapiro: “Here’s the truth: Men are looking for meaning in a world that tells them they are perpetuators of discrimination and rape culture; that they are beneficiaries of an overarching, nasty patriarchy; that they are, at best, disposable partners to women, rather than protectors of them. Giving men purpose requires us to give them purpose as men, not merely as genderless beings. There’s a lot to be said for the idea that our culture has ignored the necessity for men to become gentlemen. But that’s a result of a left-wing culture that denigrates men, not a traditional masculinity built on the idea that men were born to defend, protect and build. One thing is certainly true, though: The [American Psychological Association] has destroyed itself on the shoals of politics. And there’s no reason for honest-thinking people to take its anti-scientific pronouncements seriously simply because it masquerades as scientists while ignoring facts in favor of political correctness.”
For the record: “More physical barriers are part of the solution. The goal of the migrants is simply to set foot into the United States and then perhaps stay for years or never leave as their asylum claims are adjudicated. It gives us more control if it is harder to cross illegally and they can be made to apply at ports of entry.” —National Review
Braying Jenny: “The one thing that the president has not talked about is the fact that he has systematically engaged in the violation … of human rights on our borders. … The president should not be asking for more to an agency that has systematically violated human rights. The president should really be defending why we’re funding such an agency at all because right now what we’re seeing is death. Right now what we’re seeing is the violation of human rights.” —Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
The BIG Lie: “He’s trying to restrict every form of legal immigration there is in the United States. He’s fighting against family unification. He’s fighting against the diversity visa lottery. He’s fighting against almost every legal way people can actually legally enter this country, forcing them to become undocumented and then he’s trying to attack their undocumented status.” —Ocasio-Cortez
Delusions of grandeur: “I think that [Ocasio-Cortez] is introducing bold ideas that should be discussed. And I think it’s good for the party and frankly I think it’s good for the country.” —Kamala Harris
Braying Jackass: “I understand that I am a member of Congress, and I don’t want anything that I do or say to distract us. And that’s the only thing that I apologize for is that it was a distraction.” —Rashida “Impeach the Motherf—er” Tlaib
Alpha Jackass: “How stupid are Americans who still believe there’s a crisis on the southern border?” —MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough
And last… “I believe in what the president is doing. When he says that this is a national security problem, he’s absolutely correct. And that doesn’t come just from me — that comes from professionals who have been doing this their entire adult lives, serving the country on the border, protecting the citizens. They’re saying [the wall] works.” —Obama Border Patrol chief Mark Morgan
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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher