President Trump to Visit Border as Shutdown Over Wall Funding Continues

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
January 7, 2019US News
President Trump to Visit Border as Shutdown Over Wall Funding Continues
President Donald Trump inspects border wall prototypes in San Diego, Calif., on March 13, 2018. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump will address the nation in a broadcast at 9 p.m. EST on Tuesday, Jan. 8, according to a post on Twitter.

Additionally, the president has scheduled a visit to the Southwest border on Jan. 10, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed on Jan. 7.

Trump “will travel to the Southern border on Thursday to meet with those on the front lines of the national security and humanitarian crisis,” Sanders said in a statement. “More details will be announced soon.”

Although no trip details are available yet, Trump had said that he would travel to Texas in January for the groundbreaking of a new 115-mile portion of border barrier that he announced had been contracted on Dec. 25.

The president last visited the border in March 2018 to view border wall prototypes. He also visited Yuma in 2017, where a border fence helped cut illegal border crossings by 95 percent.

In fiscal 2018, almost 400,000 aliens were apprehended by Border Patrol after crossing the Southwest border illegally, according to Customs and Border Protection statistics.

Trump’s determination to secure funding for the border wall, and the refusal by Democrats, led to the partial government shutdown in mid-December.

Negotiations have made little progress and there’s no end in sight.

Trump said he will only sign a spending bill that includes $5.6 billion for the wall. The lame duck House passed legislation that included wall funding and would have reopened the government, but Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said no Democrats would vote for it, so Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) declined to bring it to a vote.

The Democrats gained the House majority after the New Year while Republicans widened their majority in the Senate. The House passed a new budget bill that would re-open the government but didn’t include funding, so McConnell again declined to bring it to a vote.

“We have to have border security. If we don’t have border security, we are going to be crime-ridden and it’s going to get worse and worse,” the president said on Jan. 6.

He told reporters that could declare a national emergency to secure funding for the border wall and bypass congressional approval.

“We’re looking at a national emergency because we have a national emergency.”

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) confirmed that Trump has the authority to call a national emergency on the grounds of border security.

Trump reacted to Smith on Jan.7, writing on Twitter, “No doubt, but let’s get our deal done in Congress!”

Trump said that Vice President Mike Pence and other negotiators representing the administration had a productive meeting with those representing Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Sunday. Pelosi has said she will never vote for wall funding, calling it expensive, ineffective, and an “immorality.”

The vast majority of law enforcement support a wall to help cut down on illegal immigration, drug trafficking, and human trafficking.

National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd told reporters on Jan. 3 that “Anywhere that you look where we have built walls, they have worked.”

“I’ve been a Border Patrol agent for 21 years. I can personally tell you, from the work that I have done on the southwest border, that physical barriers, that walls actually work,” he said. “They have been an absolute necessity for Border Patrol agents in securing the border.”

Currently, around 654 miles of barrier exists along the almost-2,000 miles of U.S.–Mexico border.

Customs and Border Protection constructed around 31 miles of new and replacement fencing in 2018, with the final nine miles expected to be completed early this year, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

The following is the breakdown of miles completed:

  • 2.25 miles in El Centro, California. Completed.
  • 20 miles in El Paso, Texas. Completed
  • San Diego Primary Project (14 miles): Completion anticipated in May 2019.
  • El Paso Project (4 miles): Construction started in September.

Epoch Times reporter Charlotte Cuthbertson contributed to this report

From The Epoch Times

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