Full Transcripts: Trump’s Speech on Immigration and the Democratic Response


January 9, 2019

 

 

 

President Trump addressed the nation on Tuesday night from the Oval Office.CreditPool photo by Carlos Barria
ImagPresident Trump addressed the nation on Tuesday night from the Oval Office. CreditCredit Pool photo by Carlos Barria

By The New York Times

 

 

 

 

 

President Trump delivered an address to the nation on Tuesday night from the Oval Office to make a broad-based public push for border wall funding.

After his speech, Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leaders, delivered a response from Capitol Hill.

[Read our live analysis and fact checks of the remarks here.]

The following are transcripts of both Mr. Trump’s speech and the Democratic rebuttal, as prepared by The New York Times.

__________

 

PRESIDENT TRUMP: My fellow Americans, tonight I’m speaking to you because there is a growing humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border.

 

Every day, Customs and Border Protection 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. 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. Ninety percent of which floods across from our southern border. More Americans will die from drugs this year than were killed in the entire Vietnam War.

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.

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 to process the sharp rise of 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.

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. 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, just came across the border. The life of an American hero was stolen by someone who had no right to be in our country. 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 have met with dozens of families whose loved ones were stolen by illegal immigration. I have 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.

__________

SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI: Good evening.

Politics|Full Transcripts: Trump’s Speech on Immigration and the Democratic Response

 

President Trump addressed the nation on Tuesday night from the Oval Office.CreditPool photo by Carlos Barria
Image
President Trump addressed the nation on Tuesday night from the Oval Office.CreditCreditPool photo by Carlos Barria

By The New York Times

 

President Trump delivered an address to the nation on Tuesday night from the Oval Office to make a broad-based public push for border wall funding.

After his speech, Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leaders, delivered a response from Capitol Hill.

[Read our live analysis and fact checks of the remarks here.]

The following are transcripts of both Mr. Trump’s speech and the Democratic rebuttal, as prepared by The New York Times.

__________

PRESIDENT TRUMP: My fellow Americans, tonight I’m speaking to you because there is a growing humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border.

 

Every day, Customs and Border Protection 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. 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. Ninety percent of which floods across from our southern border. More Americans will die from drugs this year than were killed in the entire Vietnam War.

This is your last free article.

Subscribe to The Times


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.

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.

A

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 to process the sharp rise of 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.

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. 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, just came across the border. The life of an American hero was stolen by someone who had no right to be in our country. 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 have met with dozens of families whose loved ones were stolen by illegal immigration. I have 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.

__________

SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI: Good evening.

Image result for nancy pelosi

 

I appreciate the opportunity to speak directly to the American people tonight about how we can end this shutdown and meet the needs of the American people. Sadly much of what we heard from President Trump throughout this senseless shutdown has been full of misinformation and even malice. The president has chosen fear. We want to start with the facts.

The fact is on the very first day of this Congress, House Democrats passed Senate Republican legislation to reopen government and fund smart, effective border security solutions. But the president is rejecting these bipartisan bills which would reopen government over his obsession with forcing American taxpayers to waste billions of dollars on an expensive and ineffective wall, a wall he always promised Mexico would pay for.

The fact is, President Trump has chosen to hold hostage critical services for the health, safety, and well-being of the American people, and withhold the paychecks of 800,000 innocent workers across the nation, many of them veterans.

He promised to keep the government shutdown for months or years, no matter whom it hurts. That’s just plain wrong. The fact is, we all agree we need to secure our borders while honoring our values. We can build the infrastructure and roads at our ports of entry. We can install new technology to scan cars and trucks for drugs coming into our nation. We can hire the personnel we need to facilitate trade and immigration at the border. We can fund more innovation to detect unauthorized crossings.

The fact is, the women and children at the border are not a security threat. They are a humanitarian challenge, a challenge that President Trump’s own cruel and counterproductive policies have only deepened. And the fact is, President Trump must stop holding the American people hostage and stop manufacturing a crisis, and must reopen the government.

Thank you. Leader Schumer.

Image result for chuck schumer

SENATOR CHUCK SCHUMER: Thank you, Speaker Pelosi.

My fellow Americans, we address you tonight for one reason only. The president of the United States, having failed to get Mexico to pay for his ineffective, unnecessary border wall, and unable to convince the Congress or the American people to foot the bill, has shut down the government.

 

American democracy doesn’t work that way. We don’t govern by temper tantrum. No president should pound the table and demand he gets his way or else the government shuts down. Hurting millions of Americans who are treated as leverage.

 

Tonight, and throughout this debate and throughout his presidency, president trump has appealed to fear, not facts. Division, not unity. 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.

So, how do we untangle this mess? Well, there’s an obvious solution. Separate the shutdown from arguments over border security. There is bipartisan legislation supported by Democrats and Republicans to reopen government while allowing debate over border security to continue.

There is no excuse for hurting millions of Americans over a policy difference. Federal workers are about to miss a paycheck. Some families can’t get a mortgage to buy a new home. Farmers and small businesses won’t get loans they desperately need.

Most presidents have used Oval Office addresses for noble purposes. This president just used the backdrop of the Oval Office to manufacture a crisis, stoke fear, and divert attention from the turmoil in his administration.

My fellow Americans, there is no challenge so great that our nation cannot rise to meet it. We can reopen the government and continue to work through disagreements over policy. We can secure our border without an ineffective, expensive wall. And we can welcome legal immigrants and refugees without compromising safety and security.

The symbol of America should be the Statue of Liberty, not a 30 foot wall. So our suggestion is a simple one. Mr. President, reopen the government, and we can work to resolve our differences over border security. But end this shutdown now.

Thank you.

 

 

 

4 thoughts on “Full Transcripts: Trump’s Speech on Immigration and the Democratic Response

  1. LOL.

    Donald Trump’s immigration speech was an insult to the nation’s intelligence, and he knew it. Trump admitted to news anchors that his Oval Office speech and his trip to the border were and are a pointless waste of time. Peter Baker of The New York Times has a Trump speech anecdote to make you laugh and cry.

    Peter Baker wrote:

    “Yet privately, Mr. Trump dismissed his own new strategy as pointless. In an off-the-record lunch with television anchors hours before the address, he made clear in blunt terms that he was not inclined to give the speech or go to Texas, but was talked into it by advisers, according to two people briefed on the discussion who asked not to be identified sharing details.

    ‘It’s not going to change a damn thing, but I’m still doing it,’ Mr. Trump said of the trip to the border, according to one of the people, who was in the room. The border trip was just a photo opportunity, he said. ‘But,’ he added, gesturing at his communications aides, Bill Shine, Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Kellyanne Conway, ‘these people behind you say it’s worth it.’”

    That’s why Trump’s speech was so terrible. He was disconnected and disinterested because he thought that the idea was a waste of time. Trump put zero effort into it, just as he does every single time he is forced to do something that he doesn’t want to do.

    Trump’s speech failed fact-checks. He lied, misinformed, created fear and hatred and persuaded no one. Almost everyone rightly criticized Trump’s speech pushing for a US-Mexico border wall for its numerous lies and misrepresentations. Surprisingly, even news commentators on Fox News were critical of Trump’s speech! Fox News anchor Shepard Smith immediately and ruthlessly challenged many of Trump’s false claims, using the government’s own numbers to do it.

    When even Fox News calls out Donald Trump for spreading misinformation about immigration and border security you know he has a big problem. And it’s not clear that he has any idea how to resolve it, so it’s likely his politically damaging government shutdown will continue for a good while longer.

    Both Congressional Democratic Leaders, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, took Trump to school with the Democratic response. They immediately pronounced Trump to be a liar and made clear that Americans should not believe a word he said. Reality seems to be slowing sinking in. Trump isn’t going to win this shutdown. He isn’t going to get his wall. Democrats aren’t going to budge. The Democrats clearly had the winning argument — they’re willing to reopen the government and keep negotiating over border security. Trump isn’t.

    Trump really doesn’t care about the border wall. He cares about being seen fighting for the wall. It is a gimmick to keep his supporters engaged and the campaign donations rolling in.
    Trump’s speech was all about bluster and trying to fool enough of his base of supporters to generate public support for his misguided border wall project. But this is not likely to happen. Trump’s speech was a total failure.

    Trump needs more controversies to create chaos to distract the general public from his seventeen federal, state and local investigations. Trump is putting up a last ditch of deathbed struggle for his presidency. How long can he still hold up? His darling daughter will soon be indicted and may be going to jail. So is his son Don Jr. Robert Mueller’s probe eventually is coming for his family.

    • LaMoy,

      The Democrats won’t concede. Mueller, tough House Speaker Nancy Polosi, and 2020 are ahead.It is a pure PR thing.Is Trump running Scared? –Din Merican

  2. Din:

    Is Trump running scared? He is more like running panicked. Trump’s days in the White House are numbered, and he knows it. I have just heard today that Trump has hired 17 more lawyers as Mueller closes in on him. This suggests that Trump is panicking as Mueller’s investigation reaches its conclusion and Trump appears to be in increasing legal trouble.

    It is pathetic to see him running around sucker punching, putting up a last ditch of deathbed struggle to save his presidency. But it is futile. I am beginning to see he would resign before he finishes his term, to save his children or to reduce their charges. Say anything you want about the man, but he is very protective of his family.

    You know what’s so dangerous about the Trump’s presidency? The man has absolutely no idea of how the American government works and he has no desire to learn. People who have left his administration — from Rex Tillerson to John Kelly to Jim Mattis … — all said the same thing. Trump behaves like a king, not a president.

    Trump definitely has authoritarian tendencies. If Democrats don’t ultimately bend to his will, Trump said he may grant himself emergency powers to build the wall without congressional approval. This bizarre claim of power to declare a national emergency and build his wall cracked me up laughing my ass off rolling on the floor when I heard it. The freaking idiot has absolutely no idea how the American government works! I’m going to have to see where his authority is coming from. Contrary to what Trump thinks, American president doesn’t have the unlimited power to declare a national emergency.

    Trump can only declare a national emergency within the powers granted to him by Congress. Trump can’t declare an emergency and build his wall. If it was legal to take such action, presidents would be able to act without consulting Congress and would exercise unlimited power. Trump doesn’t have unilateral authority to declare a national emergency and build his wall. Congress still has to appropriate the funds. If Congress won’t appropriate the funds, Trump still can’t build his wall.

    It’s true that the president does have some reprogramming authority. But Trump’s authority to move money around within the federal government is also limited. If he wanted to move funds for the wall, he would need congressional approval.

    I am sure that you, being an accomplished graduate from The George Washington University, understand that the governmental system of the US is set up so that no president can act like a king. Trump can’t decree a national emergency and build his wall. If Trump declared a national emergency tomorrow, he still wouldn’t have the money for his wall. Therefore, Trump’s threat is an empty one.

    But it shows why he has been trying to create a crisis on the US-Mexican border. Trump is looking for more than money for his wall. He is trying to create the pretext for building his wall without congressional authorization. It won’t work, and if Trump tries it, he will quickly lose in federal court. Donald Trump doesn’t have special magical emergency powers that allow him to ignore the Constitution and build his wall.

    I still wonder how Trump could graduate with a bachelor degree in economics from Wharton School. He has no grasp on any economic policy. For example, tariffs are taxes paid by importers on imported goods. So, for instance, the cost of a US-imposed tariff on a Chinese product is paid by the US company purchasing that product from China; it is not paid by the Chinese government. Yet Trump goes around claiming that the US has taken in “billions and billions of dollars in tariffs from China.” Moreover, more than 40% of the products come from American companies in China. His tariffs war on China hurts China far less than what he is trying to sell to his cultist base.

    Trump’s lack of policy knowledge goes beyond tariffs. He repeatedly failed to justify his claim that a trade deal that hasn’t yet been approved by Congress (USMCA, the revised version of NAFTA the Trump administration negotiated with Mexico and Canada) will somehow result in Mexico fulfilling his campaign promise to pay for a border wall.

    The man is a real idiot. Period. I suspect he bought his homework and term papers when attending Wharton School. You’ve been to school here, you know these things happened in American campuses.

    No one can know everything under the sun, but Trump thinks he does. He thinks he is the smartest man on earth and refuses to listen to any advice that runs contrary to his. And he is always surrounded by a bunch of pathetic sycophants.
    ______________________
    LaMoy,

    America will never have another King George III ever. Trump will fail if he tried.–Din Merican

  3. LaMoy has been predicting that President Trump’s days is numbered since President Trump was elected. He keeps making the prediction and he keeps missing the prediction. But, eventually he will get it right because at the end the president days is numbered: 365*6 years = 2190 days, which is not that long.

    The Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) is actually a real thing – according to Scott Adams. The bad thing for Malaysians, who are half the globe away, is the tendency to catch the Syndrome without the benefit of antidotes such as local radio talk shows and local-focused social media available to American public. Even kids born in the United States are inoculated with heavy doses of skepticism to flowery language and flashy images – all for survival need.

    Trump Derangement Syndrome is a real mental disorder – by Scott Adams:

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