Wall or no wall? The partial U.S. government shutdown continues to wage on after significant back-and-fourth about president Donald Trump’s border wall at the Mexican border. Negotiations continue on Thursday, the 19th day of the government shutdown, in another attempt to agree on the wall demands and reopen government.
Here are the most recent developments in the U.S. government shutdown and border wall debate:
- On Wednesday, Trump said he has “absolute right” to declare a national emergency if a deal is not made to fund the border wall.
- In his Oval Office address to Americans on Tuesday night, Trump described the national security and humanitarian “crisis” that has been occurring at the southern border, identifying the illegal drug movement and criminal violence that happens at the border.
- In his speech, Trump said Democrats request the wall be a “steel barrier” instead of a concrete wall, a comment fact-checkers quickly identified as false. Democrats have been against a wall of any kind.
- The U.S. president also said the $5.7 billion in funds he has requested from Congress is in addition to “indirect” funding from the Mexican government through a revised North American Free Trade Agreement. But trade experts say American taxpayers will ultimately end up paying the entire bill.
- U.S. House speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer responded to Trump’s statements saying the government shutdown has been full of “misinformation and even malice.” They have also called for the U.S. president to reopen the government while border security discussions continue.
- In an interview with Fox News on Sunday, White House press secretary, Sarah Sanders, said “4,000 known or suspected terrorists” came into the U.S. illegally, with the southern border being “the most vulnerable point of entry.” Host Chris Wallace corrected the press secretary, stating the statistic Sanders was referring to was related to individuals apprehended at airports, not the Mexican border.
- U.S. Vice President Mike Pence made a similar claim in an interview on Tuesday, stating “4,000 known or suspected terrorists were apprehended coming into the United States through various means.”
- Democrats, who control the House, offered over $1 billion to fund “border security,” without any allocation for this specific wall at the southern border.
- Over 800,000 government workers have been affected by the shutdown, with particular stress on U.S. air travel.
So what do you think our neighbours to the south should be doing? Vote in the poll above and leave your thoughts in the comments below