Citing the 1944 Normandy invasion as an illustration of American courage to protect those in need, President Donald Trump on Tuesday called for Americans to protect their fellow citizens by securing the border with Mexico.
“Now is the time for Congress to show the world that America is committed to ending illegal immigration and putting the ruthless coyotes, cartels, drug dealers, and human traffickers out of business,” Trump said in his State of the Union address.
Trump said that in the battle against illegal immigration, the United States stands alone.
“As we speak, large, organized caravans are on the march to the United States. We have just heard that Mexican cities, in order to remove the illegal immigrants from their communities, are getting trucks and buses to bring them up to our country in areas where there is little border protection,” he said, noting he has ordered 3,750 more troops to defend the border.
Trump said that defending the border transcends partisanship and even geography.
“This is a moral issue. The lawless state of our southern border is a threat to the safety, security and financial well-being of all America. We have a moral duty to create an immigration system that protects the lives and jobs of our citizens. This includes our obligation to the millions of immigrants living here today, who followed the rules and respected our laws,” Trump said.
Trump also fired back at critics who claim he opposes all immigration.
“Legal immigrants enrich our nation and strengthen our society in countless ways. I want people to come into our country, in the largest numbers ever, but they have to come in legally,” he said.
Trump then said the issue is larger than immigration policy.
“Tonight, I am asking you to defend our very dangerous southern border out of love and devotion to our fellow citizens and to our country,” he said.
Tonight, I am asking you to defend our very dangerous southern border out of love and devotion to our fellow citizens and to our country.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) February 6, 2019
Trump illustrated his point by recognizing a few “angel families” — families who have lost a member killed by an illegal immigrant.
“No one should ever have to suffer the horrible heartache that they have had to endure,” Trump said. “Not one more American life should be lost because our nation failed to control its very dangerous border.”
Trump also saluted Immigration and Customs and Enforcement — a prime target of Democrats — by noting that in the past two years, ICE has arrested more than a quarter of a million lawbreakers.
Trump then turned to the thorny issue of a border barrier.
“My administration has sent to Congress a common sense proposal to end the crisis on the southern border. It includes humanitarian assistance, more law enforcement, drug detection at our ports, closing loopholes that enable child smuggling, and plans for a new physical barrier, or wall, to secure the vast areas between our ports of entry.
“In the past, most of the people in this room voted for a wall. But the proper wall was never built. I will get it built,” Trump said.
“This is a smart, strategic, see-through steel barrier — not just a simple concrete wall. It will be deployed in the areas identified by border agents as having the greatest need, and these agents will tell you, where walls go up, illegal crossings go way way down.”
Trump said the issue is safety, not politics.
“Simply put, walls work and walls save lives. So let’s work together, compromise, and reach a deal that will truly make America safe,” Trump said.
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