President Donald Trump spent 8 minutes last night on a national television network to explain to the public the reasons for getting a budget for the construction of the wall on the border with Mexico was because “this is a humanitarian crisis” and “security crisis at our southern border”.
In a relatively short time, the same audience had access to the opinion of the democrats, empowered in the images of Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, who lamented that the Executive decided to use the American people as “hostage” for the achievement of its purposes and they demanded the president “must stop holding the American people hostage, must stop manufacturing a crisis, and must re-open the government.”
The major national television networks as well as the public media offered their prime time to President Donald Trump and his Democratic opponents, who exposed the border wall issue on an eight-minute address.
It is necessary to point out that these messages to the nation were staged during the when the 18th day of the partial shutdown of the government that affects about 800 thousand federal employees and the functioning of some of the nation’s neuralgic services.
From the spaces of the Oval Office Donald Trump looked at the cameras to be present in millions of American homes: ” My fellow Americans: tonight, I am speaking to you because there is a growing humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border.”
The head of the White House used the model of opposites to set a pattern of persuasion in the audience. He said that his request for the wall “is common sense. (…) This is a choice between right and wrong between justice and injustice” he added.
He also went to basic arithmetic to explain that the wall was paying itself, in an attempt to invalidate the Democratic position which has warned that its construction is an unnecessary loss of money.
The calculation exercise prepared by the Head of State had the intention of showing graphically that the wall will stop the affluence of illegal drugs which costs the United States, about 500 billion dollars a year.
The president marked his demand of $ 1.7 billion for the barrier, which he insisted expected to be built with steel, instead of concrete.
Trump considered that the construction of a wall in the border is absolutely critical for the border security of the country.
The eight minutes for the democrats
An unprecedented fact was observed yesterday in the United States. Moments after the President Trump´s message ended the main television networks granted the same time of exposure to the Democratic leaders.
“President Trump must stop holding the American people hostage, stop manufacturing a crisis and reopen the Government,” said the democrat Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi.
The leader of the House of Representatives lamented that Trump has chosen to keep the Administration closed due to discussions about the funds to build a wall on the border with Mexico, instead of accepting a Democratic proposal that would reopen part of the Government.
This partial shutdown of administrative activities is the second longest in the United States since 1976. Former President Bill Clinton faced another closure between December 16, 1995 and January 6, 1996.
On January 3, the day the new US Congress was installed, Nancy Pelosi approved items to finance some agencies affected by the paralysis of activities, but did not include funds for the wall.
For his part, the leader of the Democrats in the Senate, Chuck Schumer, called on Trump to “separate the shutdown from the arguments over border security.”
“There is no excuse for hurting millions of Americans over a policy difference,” Schumer said, referring to the thousands of families of federal workers who have seen their payrolls suspended in recent weeks.
Data adjustments to have perspective
Despite Trump’s continued assertions about the border crisis that the United States is undergoing, the number of people who have been detained on the border with Mexico has dropped dramatically in recent decades.
In the year 2000, 1 million 600 thousand people were arrested trying to cross the southern border to the United States, a number that fell to less than 400 thousand in 2018, according to official data.
The rhetoric against Trump’s illegal immigration had an impact during his first year in office, in 2017, when some 310,000 people were arrested for crossing the border illegally, a minimum register.
The presidential address was preceded by uncertainty about the possibility of Trump declaring national emergency, a mechanism that would allow him to use military funds in the construction of the border barrier.
In 1976, the US Congress passed the National Emergency Law, which allows the president to declare a national emergency at his discretion and it does not offer any concrete definition of “emergency” or the required criteria.
This law activates a set of powers by which Trump could use to build the border wall, one of his outstanding promises during his campaign for president.
Trump would be able to reassign the military budget on construction projects to build the border wall, which would then be considered “a necessary structure for national defense,” according to the legislation.
Translated by: José Espinoza