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Trump Calls for ‘Steel Barrier’ in Oval Office Address: ‘Humanitarian and Security Crisis’ at the Border

President Donald Trump delivered his first Oval Office address tonight on the issue of border security, as the fight between the White House and the Democrats over a wall has led to week three of a government shutdown.

“There is a growing humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border,’ he said, calling it “a crisis of the heart and a crisis of the soul.”

He blamed Democrats for the shutdown lasting so long because they won’t “fund border security”:

“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 always 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. 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. This situation could be solved in a 45-minute meeting. I have invited Congressional leadership to the White House tomorrow to get this done.”

Trump spoke of families whose loved ones have been killed by illegal immigrants and asked, “How much more American blood must we shed before Congress does its job? For 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.

You can watch above, via CNN.

[image via screengrab]

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