Published: Wed, January 09, 2019
Culture&Arts | By Dora Pope

Trump Reportedly Trying to End Shutdown Without Looking Weak

Trump Reportedly Trying to End Shutdown Without Looking Weak

U.S. President Donald Trump is taking his case for U.S. -Mexico border wall funding to prime-time television, as he looks to convince Americans that border security - amid an influx of Central American migrants - must be strengthened before a partial government shutdown can be ended.

He also tried to ramp up support among Republicans who are getting nervous about government workers and others who are feeling the pain of the shutdown.

Such an emergency declaration would represent a dramatic escalation of the dispute and would immediately draw legal challenges. Initially, Trump insisted Mexico would pay for the boarder wall.

The fact-checking nonprofit PolitiFact, run by the Poynter Institute, said on Twitter that it will live fact-check the president's address Tuesday night.

The current closure of a quarter of federal agencies is the second-longest in history, leaving hundreds of thousands of government workers unpaid.

Research also indicates that undocumented immigrants are much less likely to commit crime than native-born American citizens.

The president said children illegally brought into the USA are "used as human pawns by vicious coyotes and ruthless gangs", while women and children are "the biggest victims by far of our broken system".

And on Tuesday Rep. Mac Thornberry of Georgia, the top Republican on the House Appropriations Committee, came out against the idea of reprogramming Pentagon funds to build the wall, saying he was 'opposed to using defense dollars for non-defense purposes'.

In recent years, the border has seen many more Central American families and unaccompanied children turning up - sometimes in caravans of thousands of people - to seek asylum and the government does not have the facilities to take care of them.

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Mr Schumer said Trump "just used the backdrop of the Oval Office to manufacture a crisis, stoke fear and divert attention from the turmoil in his administration".

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted that he will use the visit to "meet with those on the front lines of the national security and humanitarian crisis".

Democrats were able to demand the ability to respond, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer are scheduled to do so, presenting a united front despite efforts by Trump to put a wedge between them - but passing on the chance to put forward a Democratic rising star.

"Now that the television networks have chose 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", they demanded in a joint statement on Monday night.

Mr Trump will follow up with a rare trip to the Mexico border itself on Thursday.

Pence said on Monday that progress was made in weekend talks that he led between administration officials and congressional staff over how to break the funding impasse and reopen the government. But even if blocked, Trump could claim to his base that he had done what he could, while ending the damaging government shutdown.

"This barrier is absolutely critical to border security".

The California congresswoman added: "And the fact is: President Trump must stop holding the American people hostage, must stop manufacturing a crisis, and must reopen the government".

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