FACT CHECK: Trump Speech On Border Security ‘Crisis’ Amid Shutdown : NPR

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President Trump speaks to the nation during his first prime-time address from the Oval Office of the White House on Tuesday.

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President Trump speaks to the nation during his first prime-time address from the Oval Office of the White House on Tuesday.

President Trump used his first prime-time address from the Oval Office to make the case for his controversial border wall. The president’s demand for $5.7 billion in wall funding — and Democrats’ opposition — has led to a partial shutdown of the federal government.

Here we check some of the arguments made by the president and top Democrats in their response.

Claim 1: Humanitarian and security crisis

“There is a growing humanitarian and security crisis at our Southern border.”

Fact check: Illegal border crossings in the most recent fiscal year (ending in September 2018) were actually lower than either 2016 or 2014 and much lower than at their peak around 2000. The number of unauthorized border-crossers is also dwarfed by the number of people who overstay their visas. But there has been a spike in crossings in the past few months, topping 60,000 in both October and November. And while illegal crossings are still well below the levels of a generation ago, the makeup of the traffic has changed. There are now many more children and families from Central America, who present different challenges than single adults from Mexico.

Many of the Central American migrants are seeking asylum, citing a fear of violence or persecution back home. While the majority of these asylum claims are ultimately rejected, assessing them can take months or years. In the past, asylum-seekers were typically released into the U.S. during this period, a practice the Trump administration criticizes as “catch and release.” The administration wants to detain migrants while their asylum claims are adjudicated. This has led to overcrowded detention centers. And under a court order, young migrants generally cannot be detained for more than about 20 days. (The administration tried to get around that last year with its ill-fated and short-lived family separation policy, to allow indefinite detention of adults while children were turned over to the Health and Human Services Department or resettled with family members.) Importantly, most asylum-seekers turn themselves in to U.S. authorities, which they could do with or without a border wall.

Claim 2: Driving down jobs and wages

“All Americans are hurt by uncontrolled illegal migration. It strains public resources and drives down jobs and wages.”

Fact check: The effect of illegal immigration on wages has been studied extensively, and conclusions vary quite a bit. Because of the underground nature of the problem, hard evidence can be hard to come by. Some evidence exists that because illegal immigrants tend to be low-skilled, they compete with native-born workers and can lower wages for those at the bottom of the income scale. But they can also reduce the cost of production in some industries, which can mean lower prices for Americans as a whole. Indeed, many employers complain that in today’s tight labor market, the shortage of immigrant labor is driving up their costs. As for the president’s claim that illegal immigrants drain public resources, many studies have concluded that while illegal immigrants may also drive up the cost of government services in some places, they also make up for it by paying taxes.

Claim 3: ICE arrests

“In the last two years, ICE officers made 266,000 arrests of aliens with criminal records including those charged [with] 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.”

Fact check: The president is right about the total number of arrests of immigrants with criminal records that ICE has arrested over the past two years. But that number alone is misleading, because many of those of immigrants have very likely committed immigration-related offenses rather than violent crimes as the president is suggesting.

Trump has frequently pointed to sympathetic crime victims to justify his crackdown on illegal immigration. But experts say the president’s rhetoric overstates the threat posed by immigrants, who tend to commit crime at lower rates than people who are born in the United States — including murder and other violent crimes.

Claim 4: Illegal drugs

“Our Southern border is a pipeline for vast quantities of illegal drugs. … 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.”

Fact check: According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, most illegal drugs imported to the U.S. from Mexico are smuggled through legal ports of entry. Only a small fraction comes through parts of the border that would be covered by a wall.

Claim 5: Wall paid for by Mexico

“The wall will also be paid for, indirectly, by the great new trade deal we have made with Mexico.”

The president is referring to the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which was signed by the leaders of the three countries on Nov. 30, 2018. In recent weeks, Trump has repeatedly claimed that the new pact would usher in huge economic benefits, essentially making up for the cost of the wall. The problem with that is twofold: First, the agreement has to be approved by Congress, and that’s not a sure thing, so presumptions about how much money it will bring in are premature. Second, many economists say the new agreement is at best a modest reworking of the North American Free Trade Agreement and are skeptical about its economic benefits. Typical was Phil Levy of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, who wrote that “there is very little in the USMCA to suggest it will create an economic growth spurt in the United States.”

Claim 6: $5.7 billion request

“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.”

Fact check: The administration’s latest request — presented to lawmakers over the weekend — seeks $5.7 billion for 234 miles of “new physical barrier,” which works out to about $24 million per mile. That’s a shift from December, when Homeland Security said it wanted $5.7 billion to secure 215 miles of border but only 100 miles of that was expected to be a new barrier. The rest would go to restoring existing walls and fences. The switch from concrete to steel was not made at the request of Democrats.

In addition, the administration is seeking hundreds of millions of dollars for additional border guards, immigration judges, detention beds and “to ensure the well-being of those taken into custody.”

Democrats’ Response

Claim: Democrats and the president want border security

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer: “Make no mistake. Democrats and the president both want stronger border security. However, we sharply disagree with the president about the most effective way to do it.”

Last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi condemned the president’s proposed border wall as costly, ineffective and immoral. “We’re not doing a wall,” Pelosi said. “A wall is an immorality between countries.” Though, as the president noted, congressional Democrats including Schumer have at times supported border barriers in the past. Nearly 700 miles of wall and fencing have already been built along the U.S. border with Mexico since 2006. Some have argued that where walls make sense, they have already been built and where they haven’t been built, they don’t make sense. Each party is seeking to blame the other for the partial government shutdown. According to a new Reuters/Ipsos Poll, 51 percent blame the president, an increase of 4 points from a similar poll just before Christmas. The same poll found only about about 4 in 10 Americans support the idea of additional fencing along the border, and support has fallen since 2015. Among Republicans, however, support for the wall is stronger, with 77 percent supporting additional fencing and 54 percent approving of a shutdown as a means to that end.

Trump walks out of border security meeting after Pelosi rejects wall pitch | Fox News

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President Trump walked out of a White House meeting with congressional leaders Wednesday afternoon over the partial government shutdown after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi again rejected supporting new funding for a border wall, according to those in the meeting.

Speaking to reporters after the brief session, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said the “president just got up and walked out.”

“He asked Speaker Pelosi, ‘will you agree to my wall?’ She said no. And he just got up, and said, ‘Well we’ve got nothing to discuss,'” Schumer said.

The president, in a tweet, called the meeting “a total waste of time” and appeared to confirm that he left after Pelosi’s answer.

“I asked what is going to happen in 30 days if I quickly open things up, are you going to approve Border Security which includes a Wall or Steel Barrier? Nancy said, NO. I said bye-bye, nothing else works!” Trump tweeted.

Pelosi, D-Calif., said after the meeting that the president was “petulant.” Schumer said Trump slammed his hand on a table in frustration, but Vice President Mike Pence and other Republicans, speaking to reporters afterward, denied that happened.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said the president was willing to make a deal in the meeting.

“I just listened to Senator Schumer,” McCarthy, a California Republican, said. “I know he complained the time that you had cameras in the meeting. I think we need to bring them back. Because what he described the meeting to be is totally different than what took place.”

The meeting in the Situation Room on Wednesday afternoon came ahead of Trump’s planned trip to the Texas-Mexico border on Thursday. Earlier, the president traveled to Capitol Hill to meet with Senate Republicans, saying afterward, “We have a very unified party.”

Still, a growing number of moderate Republicans – like Susan Collins of Maine and Cory Gardner of Colorado — have appeared uncomfortable with the toll the partial shutdown is taking.

Trump has said he might declare a national emergency and try to authorize the wall on his own if Congress won’t approve the $5.7 billion he’s asking.

“I think we might work a deal, and if we don’t I might go that route,” he said.

Past meetings with Democrats have resulted in both sides digging in, with Trump insisting on nearly $6 billion for a border wall and Democrats saying they won’t entertain the discussion until Congress passes and Trump signs a package re-opening shuttered federal agencies.

The president’s prime-time address on Tuesday night saw both camps drifting even further apart, with Trump declaring a “humanitarian and security crisis” and vowing to protect America, “so help me God” – and Democratic congressional leaders saying Trump was working to “manufacture a crisis, stoke fear and divert attention from the turmoil in his administration.”

How the two sides will bridge this difference – and how long they will resist a compromise – has been unclear. The mounting impact of the partial shutdown, including federal workers’ paychecks and national parks services, is likely to increase pressure on Congress and the White House to forge a deal in the coming days.

Trump told congressional leaders the standoff could last months, even years, as he demanded Washington take action to stem the flow of illegal immigrants, drugs and criminals crossing the border.

Fox News’ Judson Berger and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Officials rejected Jared Kushner for top secret security clearance, but were overruled

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By Laura Strickler, Ken Dilanian and Peter Alexander

WASHINGTON — Jared Kushner’s application for a top secret clearance was rejected by two career White House security specialists after an FBI background check raised concerns about potential foreign influence on him — but their supervisor overruled the recommendation and approved the clearance, two sources familiar with the matter told NBC News.

The official, Carl Kline, is a former Pentagon employee who was installed as director of the personnel security office in the Executive Office of the President in May 2017. Kushner’s was one of at least 30 cases in which Kline overruled career security experts and approved a top secret clearance for incoming Trump officials despite unfavorable information, the two sources said. They said the number of rejections that were overruled was unprecedented — it had happened only once in the three years preceding Kline’s arrival.

The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the information, said the Trump White House attracted many people with untraditional backgrounds who had complicated financial and personal histories, some of which raised red flags.

Kushner’s FBI background check identified questions about his family’s business, his foreign contacts, his foreign travel and meetings he had during the campaign, the sources said, declining to be more specific.

Kushner given top secret clearance over officials’ objections

The White House office only determines eligibility for secret and top secret clearances. As a very senior official, Kushner was seeking an even higher designation that would grant him access to what is known as “sensitive compartmented information,” or SCI. That material makes up the government’s most sensitive secrets, including transcripts of intercepted foreign communications, CIA source reporting and other intelligence seemingly important for Kushner, whose job portfolio covers the Mideast and Mexico.

The CIA is the agency that decides whether to grant SCI clearance to senior White House officials after conducting a further background check.

After Kline overruled the White House security specialists and recommended Kushner for a top secret clearance, Kushner’s file then went to the CIA for a ruling on SCI.

After reviewing the file, CIA officers who make clearance decisions balked, two of the people familiar with the matter said. One called over to the White House security division, wondering how Kushner got even a top secret clearance, the sources said. Top secret information is defined as material that would cause “exceptionally grave damage” to national security if disclosed to adversaries.

The sources say the CIA has not granted Kushner clearance to review SCI material. That would mean Kushner lacks access to key intelligence unless President Trump decides to override the rules, which is the president’s’ prerogative. The Washington Post reported in July 2018 that Kushner was not given an “SCI” clearance. CIA spokesman Timothy Barrett said, “The CIA does not comment on individual security clearances.”

“What you are reporting is what all of us feared,” said Brad Moss, a lawyer who represents persons seeking security clearances. “The normal line adjudicators looked at the FBI report…saw the foreign influence concerns, but were overruled by the quasi-political supervisor.”

“We don’t comment on security clearances,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said when asked for comment.

NBC News was unable to reach Carl Kline for comment. Kushner’s lawyer, Abbe Lowell, had no comment.

The sources said they did not know whether Kline was in communication with senior political White House officials. They say he overruled career bureaucrats at least 30 times, granting top secret clearances to officials in the Executive Office of the President or the White House after adjudicators working for him recommended against doing so.

Jared Kushner loses top security clearance

The reasons for denying a clearance can include debts, a criminal past or questions about foreign entanglements. Anything in a person’s background that could make them vulnerable to blackmail can be a factor.

Kushner’s application followed the normal path for security clearance. It passed a “suitability review” in the White House and then went to the FBI for a background investigation.

Following the FBI investigation, the case went back to the White House office of personnel security, where a career adjudicator reviewed the FBI information, including questions about foreign influence and foreign business entanglements, the sources said.

The Washington Post, citing current and former U.S. officials familiar with intelligence reports on the matter, reported last February that officials in at least four countries had privately discussed ways they could manipulate Kushner by taking advantage of his complex business arrangements, financial difficulties and lack of foreign policy experience.

Among those nations discussing ways to influence Kushner to their advantage, according to the current and former officials, were the United Arab Emirates, China, Israel and Mexico, the Post reported.

On the basis of potential foreign influence, the adjudicator deemed Kushner’s application “unfavorable” and handed it to a supervisor.

Rpt: Foreign officials have discussed how to manipulate Kushner

The supervisor agreed with the “unfavorable” determination and gave it to Kline, the head of the office at the time, who overruled the “unfavorable” determination and approved Kushner for “top secret” security clearance, the sources said.

“No one else gets that kind of treatment,” Moss said. “My clients would get body slammed if they did that.”

Sources also told NBC News career employees of the White House office disagreed with other steps Kline took, including ceasing credit checks on security clearance applicants. The sources said Kline cited a data breach at the credit reporting firm Equifax.

Kline is the subject of an October 2018 Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint viewed by NBC News that was filed by Tricia Newbold, a current employee. Newbold has a rare form of dwarfism and the complaint alleges Kline discriminated against her because of her height.

Her complaint states that in December 2017, Kline moved security files to a new location which was too high and out of her reach and told her, “You have people, have them get you the files you need; or you can ask me.”

Her attorney, Ed Passman, told NBC News, “My client has been subjected to ongoing discrimination by a ruthless supervisor who was destroying the personnel security division by granting security clearances over the objections of civil servant recommendations.”

In a letter to her family obtained by NBC News, Newbold described Kline’s behavior towards her as “aggressive,” involving “emotional and psychological abuse” starting in July 2017, a few months after he took over the office.

In the same letter, Newbold wrote that she also had serious concerns about how Kline “continuously changes policy” and makes “reckless security judgments”. She added that Kline’s decisions “if disclosed, can cause embarrassment and negative attention to the administration.”

Newbold raised concerns about Kline’s behavior with her second level supervisor regarding his “hostility and integrity” according to the EEOC complaint.

The EEOC confirmed to Newbold’s attorney that an investigation of her claims was conducted. He is now waiting to hear if his client will be granted a hearing.

The House Oversight Committee, now run by Rep. Elijah Cummings, D.-Md., announced yesterday that it is digging into how Kushner obtained his security clearance.

Laura Strickler

Laura Strickler is an investigative producer in the NBC News Investigative Unit based in Washington.

Ken Dilanian

Ken Dilanian is a national security reporter for the NBC News Investigative Unit.

Peter AlexanderPeter Alexander

Peter Alexander is a White House correspondent for NBC News.

Julia Ainsley, Carol E. Lee and Courtney Kube contributed.

Trump Chooses Bolton for 3rd Security Adviser as Shake-Up Continues

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General McMaster will retire from the military, ending a career that included senior commands in Iraq and Afghanistan. He had discussed his departure with Mr. Trump for several weeks, White House officials said, but decided to speed it up because questions about his status were casting a shadow over his exchanges with foreign officials.

Mr. Trump, the White House officials said, also wanted to fill out his national security team before his meeting with Mr. Kim, which is scheduled to occur by the end of May.

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John Bolton, who will take office April 9, has met regularly with President Trump to discuss foreign policy.Credit Alex Wong/Getty Images

Mr. Bolton, who will take office April 9, has met regularly with Mr. Trump to discuss foreign policy. Though he has been on a list of candidates for the post since the beginning of the administration, officials said Mr. Trump has hesitated, in part because of his negative reaction to Mr. Bolton’s walrus-style mustache.

On Thursday, however, Mr. Trump summoned him to the Oval Office to discuss the job. Hours later, Mr. Bolton was on Fox, where he has been an analyst, for a pre-scheduled interview, in which he confessed surprise at how quickly Mr. Trump announced the appointment. “This hasn’t sunk in,” he said.

The news of the appointment competed with an exclusive interview on CNN of a former Playboy model, Karen McDougal, who described to Anderson Cooper what she said was a 10-month sexual relationship with Mr. Trump in 2006. Mr. Trump has denied the affair.

In his interview on Fox News, Mr. Bolton declined to discuss his views on Iran, Russia or North Korea, though he acknowledged his positions were hardly a mystery after years of writing and speaking. He described the job of national security adviser as making sure that the bureaucracy did not impede the decisions of the president.

Officials said that General McMaster’s departure was a mutual decision and amicable, with little of the recrimination that marked Mr. Tillerson’s exit. They said it was not related to a leak on Tuesday of briefing materials for Mr. Trump’s phone call with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, which infuriated the president and did not help General McMaster’s case. Mr. Bolton complained on Fox News that “a munchkin in the executive branch” was responsible for the leak and called it “completely unacceptable.’’

Mr. Trump issued a statement that coincided with his tweet. “H. R. McMaster has served his country with distinction for more than 30 years,” the statement said. “He has won many battles and his bravery and toughness are legendary. General McMaster’s leadership of the National Security Council staff has helped my administration accomplish great things to bolster America’s national security.”

General McMaster said in a telephone interview on Thursday that his departure had been under discussion for weeks, and, “really, the only issue that had been left open is timing.” He would have preferred to stay in the West Wing until the summer, but the timing was dictated by “what was best for him and the country,” he said, referring to the president.

White House officials said the Army sounded out General McMaster, who is a three-star general, about four-star commands after he left the White House, but he declined them. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has had a contentious relationship with General McMaster, and it was not clear what role he played.

Democrats greeted the news about Mr. Bolton with deep alarm. “The person who will be first in first out of the Oval Office on national security matters passionately believes the U.S. should launch pre-emptive war against both Iran and North Korea with no authorization from Congress,” said Senator Christopher S. Murphy of Connecticut. “My God.”

Republicans, however, expressed satisfaction. “Selecting John Bolton as national security adviser is good news for America’s allies and bad news for America’s enemies,” said Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. “He has a firm understanding of the threats we face from North Korea, Iran and radical Islam.”

Inside the National Security Council on Thursday night, one person described the mood among career officials as somber, with offices largely empty by 9 p.m., unusually early for an agency renowned for its round-the-clock work schedule.

General McMaster struggled for months to impose order not only on a fractious national security team but on a president who resisted the sort of discipline customary in the military. Although General McMaster has been a maverick voice at times during a long military career, the Washington foreign policy establishment had hoped he would keep the president from making rash decisions.

Yet the president and the general, who had never met before Mr. Trump interviewed General McMaster for the post, had little chemistry from the start, and often clashed behind the scenes.

General McMaster’s didactic style and preference for order made him an uncomfortable fit with a president whose style is looser, and who has little patience for the detail and nuance of complex national security issues.

They had differed on policy, as well, with General McMaster cautioning against ripping up the nuclear deal with Iran without a strategy for what would come next, and tangling with Mr. Trump over the strategy for American forces in Afghanistan.

Their tensions seeped into public view in February, when General McMaster said at a security conference in Munich that the evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election was beyond dispute. The statement drew a swift rebuke from Mr. Trump, who vented his anger on Twitter.

“General McMaster forgot to say that the results of the 2016 election were not impacted or changed by the Russians and that the only Collusion was between Russia and Crooked H, the DNC and the Dems,” Mr. Trump wrote, using his campaign nickname for Hillary Clinton. “Remember the Dirty Dossier, Uranium, Speeches, Emails and the Podesta Company!”

General McMaster also had a difficult relationship with the White House chief of staff, John F. Kelly, people close to the White House said. Mr. Kelly, they said, prevailed in easing out General McMaster but failed to prevent Mr. Trump from hiring Mr. Bolton, whom they said Mr. Kelly fears will behave like a cabinet official rather than a staff member.

Mr. Trump selected General McMaster last February after pushing out Michael T. Flynn, his first national security adviser, for not being forthright about a conversation with Russia’s ambassador at the time. Mr. Flynn has since pleaded guilty of making a false statement to the F.B.I. and is cooperating with Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

General McMaster carried out a slow-rolling purge of hard-liners at the National Security Council who had been installed by Mr. Flynn and were allied ideologically with Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Trump’s former chief strategist, earning the ire of conservatives who complained that his moves represented the foreign policy establishment reasserting itself over a president who had promised a different approach.

General McMaster’s position at the White House had been seen as precarious for months, and he had become the target of a concerted campaign by hard-line activists outside the administration who accused him of undermining the president’s agenda and pushed for his ouster, even creating a social media effort branded with a #FireMcMaster hashtag.

Last summer, Mr. Trump balked at a plan General McMaster presented to bolster the presence of United States forces in Afghanistan, although the president ultimately embraced a strategy that would require thousands more American troops.

General McMaster had been among the most hard-line administration officials in his approach to North Korea, publicly raising the specter of a “preventive war” against the North. He was among those who expressed concerns about Mr. Trump’s abrupt decision this month to meet Mr. Kim, according to a senior official.

Correction: March 23, 2018

Because of an editing error, an earlier version of this article misstated the duration of a sexual relationship with Mr. Trump as described by Karen McDougal in her CNN interview. She said it lasted 10 months, not nine months.

Mark Landler reported from Washington, and Maggie Haberman from New York. Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Peter Baker contributed reporting from Washington.

A version of this article appears in print on March 23, 2018, on Page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Trump Chooses Hawk For 3rd Security Adviser As Shake-Up Continues.

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Pelosi, Nielsen clashed during border-security meeting: ‘I reject your facts,’ House speaker said, according to report | Fox News

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“I reject your facts,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, left, reportedly said to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen during a border-security meeting this week. “These aren’t my facts,” Nielsen reportedly responded. “These are the facts.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen got into a tense confrontation this week, with the California Democrat interrupting Nielsen’s presentation on border security and illegal immigration, telling her “I reject your facts.”

The clash between the top House Democrat and a key member of President Trump’s Cabinet occurred during a Wednesday meeting in the White House amid the impasse over the government shutdown, with Trump standing firm and demanding $5 billion for the border wall.

At one point during the meeting, according to the Wall Street Journal, Pelosi interrupted Nielsen, who was citing statistics related to the border, including how many criminal illegal immigrants attempted to enter the U.S. last year.

“I reject your facts,” Pelosi told Nielsen

“These aren’t my facts,” Nielsen shot back. “These are the facts.”

“These aren’t my facts … These are the facts.”

Following the episode, Nielsen went to social media to criticize Pelosi and the Democrats for not wanting to hear about the issue of illegal immigration.

“I am disappointed that Dems did not want to hear from @DHSgov about the security & humanitarian crisis we are facing at the border,” Nielsen wrote. “They didn’t want to hear about criminal aliens, drug smugglers, smuggled & abused children or violent caravans trying to breach the border wall.”

“The crisis is not going away-it is getting worse. The status quo in funding & authorities for #DHS is irresponsible & makes our country less secure,” she continued. “Kicking the can down the road is not the answer. I look forward to engaging w Members who want to.”

Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the second-ranking Senate Democrat, also criticized Nielsen’s presentation, telling Bloomberg that it “was not a credible presentation.”

“It was preposterous,” Durbin said. “At a time when we have the lowest level of apprehensions at the border — stopping people from coming in illegally — the lowest level historically, she is saying that we have all these terrorists and criminals and all these people on their way in.”

Nielsen reportedly told the Democrats at the meeting that border officials along the U.S.-Mexico border had apprehended about 3,000 people with terrorist ties and 17,000 criminals last year.

Pelosi also asked quizzed the DHS head whether she was counting anyone crossing the border illegally as having a criminal record, with the administration denying that’s how the figure was devised.

Wednesday’s meeting didn’t resolve the government shutdown as both sides continue to stick to their principles and refuse to concede.

On Friday, following another contentious meeting in the White House with congressional leaders, Trump warned that the partial government shutdown could last “years” and saying he could even declare a “national emergency” to bypass Congress if necessary to build the wall.

“We can call a national emergency [to build a border wall] because of the security of our country,” Trump told reporters in the Rose Garden, during a lengthy and impromptu press conference on Friday.

“I may do it,” he said, before adding, “If we can do it through a negotiated process, we’re giving it a shot.”

Rep. Steve Scalise: Democrats need to stop playing games with America’s safety and fund border security now | Fox News

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Can a divided government bring an end to the partial shutdown? Insight from House Majority Whip Steve Scalise.

We need to secure our border. There have been many words spoken about the funding fight to do this, but consider these: “The bill before us would certainly do some good. It would authorize some badly needed funding for better fences and better security along our borders that should help stem some of the tide of illegal immigration in this country.”

No, that statement wasn’t made by a Republican. It was a speech given by then-Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois in 2006, when 26 Senate Democrats – including Obama and Sens. Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer of New York – voted for The Secure Fence Act, which allocated $50 billion over 25 years for 700 miles of fencing along the border.

That’s right. Barack Obama and Chuck Schumer voted for 10 times more funding than President Trump is requesting now to secure our border. What has changed Democrats’ recognition that our southern border needs to be secured? Two words: President Trump.

From the day President Trump took office, Democrats have vowed to oppose him at every turn in an effort to appease their radical-left base, putting the politics of obstruction over the security of our country.

There’s been no better example of that than the current partial government shutdown.

Last month, House Republicans acted to keep our government open and our country safe. We passed a bill to continue government funding and provide the full $5.7 billion President Trump and the Department of Homeland Security said is necessary to secure our border.

Yet Senate Democratic Leader Schumer – who voted for border security funding in 2006 – blocked our bill from being considered in the Senate, choosing open borders over an open government.

From the day President Trump took office, Democrats have vowed to oppose him at every turn in an effort to appease their radical-left base, putting the politics of obstruction over the security of our country.  There’s been no better example of that than the current partial government shutdown.

But the time for political games is over. Lives are at stake. An illegal immigrant who crossed our southern border in Arizona is accused of murdering California police officer Ronil Singh just last month.

Singh was an immigrant himself who came here legally from Fiji seeking the American Dream. Corporal Singh leaves behind a wife and 5-month-old son.

The crime caused by open borders has to stop. According to the Homeland Security Department, over 17,000 criminals were apprehended at the border last year, many smuggling drugs that fuel the opioid crisis plaguing our country.

Last year alone, the department prevented more than 3,700 known or suspected terrorists from traveling to or entering into the United States. Just last year!

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents also saved over 900 children from human trafficking and sexual assault last year.

Since President Trump took office, ICE agents have made over 235,000 arrests of illegal immigrants with criminal records. These include more than 4,000 homicides and 27,000 sex crime offenses. And today, we are averaging nearly 2,100 illegal crossings per day at the southern border.

It’s clear we are facing a crisis. It’s been proven time and again that walls work. Consider these numbers from the Homeland Security Department:

?         In San Diego, where there has been a border wall since 1992, illegal traffic has dropped 92 percent over the last 23 years.

?         In El Paso, Texas, where there has been a border wall since 1993, illegal traffic dropped 72 percent in one year and 95 percent in over 22 years.

?         In Tucson, Arizona, where there has been a border wall since 2000, illegal traffic dropped 90 percent over 15 years.

?         In Yuma, Arizona, where there has been a border wall since 2005, illegal traffic dropped 95 percent over nine years.

We can’t wait for another murder, or another 900 children to be sexually assaulted or trafficked before we finally address this problem. That is what this fight is about.

If Senate Democrats refuse to pass the bill we sent them out of the House to open the government while providing the tools we need to secure our border, they need to explain to the American people what their alternative would be that would actually address this crisis.

As we start the new year, it’s time that Democrats stop playing games with the safety of our country.

In this new year, let us all resolve to finally pass the funding necessary to make sure the president has the tools he needs to secure our border and keep America safe.

No more broken promises. No more excuses.

Not Today: Homeowner Catches Package Thief And Confronts Her Through The Security Camera!

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I was at work on lunch break when my RING app went off letting me someone was at the front door via motion detection. I usually ignore it because it goes off a lot due to trees blowing in wind makes it go off. When I checked it, I saw this lady walking around her car and opening the door. At first, I thought she maybe she was delivering my packages, but then it became clear she was not. I decided to confront her through the RING app and she was clearly caught off guard and she made up a story that she thought she was at Debra’s house.I was confused about how she would have the wrong house. She actually put the packages back on the porch. I called the police and they reviewed the video, assuring me she was a professional thief. They did not recognize her but knew her antics. The police were impressed about the quality of a doorbell camera and asked what was in the packages she was trying to take. I told them each box was 35 lbs of kitty litter.Posted By Joe