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In Prime-Time Speech, Trump Calls Illegal Immigration 'Crisis', Democrats Respond

Updated: January 08, 2019 10:41 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump says in an Oval Office address that there is a "growing humanitarian and security crisis" at the U.S.-Mexico border, though crossings have fallen in recent years.
    
The president said Tuesday night that all Americans are hurt by uncontrolled illegal immigration. He says it strains public resources and drives down jobs and wages.

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House Speaker Pelosi responded and accused Trump of 'manufacturing a crisis' at border. She also called on him to 're-open the government.'

But Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said despite the shutdown, Democrats and the president agree on the fact that there is a need for better border security.

"So how do we untangle this mess? Well, there's an obvious solution," Schumer said. "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."

The president says among those hit hardest by illegal immigration are African-Americans and Hispanics, though he did not provide any evidence to back that up.
    
The president is trying to convince Americans that the flow of immigrants into the U.S. illegally at the southern border is a crisis. He said that children are being used as pawns for coyotes and gangs.

"This is the tragic reality of illegal immigration on our southern border," President Trump said. "This is the cycle of human suffering that I am determined to end."
    
He asserts that the government remains shut down because Democrats won't fund border security.

"The federal government remains shut down for one reason and one reason only -- because Democrats will not fund border security," Trump said.

The Republican National Committee also released a statement regarding the response from Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi. 

"Nancy Pelosi and her resist-and-obstruct Democrats will do whatever it takes to fight President Trump at all costs instead of fighting to protect our nation’s security. It’s time for Reps. Angie Craig, Dean Phillips, and Collin Peterson to represent their constituents and work with Republicans to secure the border.” 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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