Trump escalates migrant wall stand-off
Published: 05:54 PM, 9 January 2019 Updated: 05:54 PM, 9 January 2019
Daily Bangladesh Desk
US President Donald Trump has made his first TV address to the nation from the Oval Office, escalating a stand-off with Congress that has led to an 18-day partial government shutdown.
Mr Trump insisted on funding for his long-promised US-Mexico border wall.
However, he did not declare an emergency that would enable him to bypass the lower house of Congress now controlled by the opposition Democrats.
Democratic leaders accused him of holding the American people hostage.
The Republican president wants $5.7bn (£4.5bn) to build a steel barrier, which would deliver on his signature campaign pledge.
But Democrats - who recently took control of the House of Representatives - are adamantly opposed to giving him the funds.
The ongoing closure of a quarter of federal agencies is the second-longest in history, leaving hundreds of thousands of government workers unpaid.
What did President Trump say?
In an eight-minute address on Tuesday night carried live by all the major US television networks, Mr Trump said the federal government remained shut because of the Democrats.
He said of the situation at the border: "This is a humanitarian crisis, a crisis of the heart and a crisis of the soul."
Mr Trump said an as-yet-unratified revamp of the North American Free Trade Agreement would pay for the wall, a claim previously disputed by economists.
The president also said that 90% of heroin sold in the US came from Mexico, though US government figures make clear all but a small percentage is smuggled through legal points of entry.
Mr Trump correctly pointed out that Democrats have in the past supported a physical barrier.
In 2006, senators Chuck Schumer, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden voted in favour of 700 miles (1,120km) of fencing on the nearly 2,000-mile border under the Secure Fence Act.
Media captioning questions about Trump's border wall
Mr Trump cited cases of American citizens "savagely murdered in cold blood" by undocumented immigrants.
"How much more American blood will be shed before Congress does its job?" he asked.
On Wednesday, he will seek to stiffen the resolve of fellow Republicans on Capitol Hill before hosting congressional leaders for talks at the White House.
Mr Trump heads to the south-western border on Thursday.
How did Democrats respond?
In a brief rebuttal, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer demanded that Mr Trump end the shutdown.
Mrs Pelosi said: "The fact is the women and children at the border are not a security threat, they are a humanitarian challenge."
How much of Trump's wall has been built?
The California congresswoman added: "And the fact is President Trump must stop holding the American people hostage, must stop manufacturing a crisis, and must reopen the government."
Mr Schumer accused Mr Trump of trying to "govern by temper tantrum".
"President Trump has appealed to fear, not facts. Division, not unity," the New York senator said.
He concluded: "The symbol of America should be the Statue of Liberty, not a 30-foot wall."
Democrats argue that maintenance of existing border fencing, hi-tech tools to scan vehicles crossing at ports of entry, and hiring more personnel would be cheaper and more effective than a wall.
- Edu Minister criticized teachers for ‘Coaching’
- NZ PM received death threats
- Argentina to train up Bangladeshi footballers
- ‘Shark plane’ in Bangladesh
- Orchita Sporshia in Makkah to perform Umrah
- Will take charge of Ducsu: VP Noor
- Mustafiz gets hitched
- Balaka bus hit Menon’s car
- Emilia Clarke reveals she suffered two near-fatal brain aneurysms
- Woman`s throat-slit body found in Bagerhat
- 2 powerful cyclones bear down on North Australian coast
- Commercial banana farming gains ground in Rajshahi
- Surma-Dhanu rivers in hand of influential occupiers
- Unidentifind woman killed in Narsingdi road crash
- Two US soldiers killed in Afghanistan
- Journo Anwarul Haq passes away
- Five drug traders among 19 held in Dinajpur
- 2 Bangladeshi Christchurch victims’ burial completed
- Risk of facing loss due to mites attack
- RAB’s anti-narcotics drive in capital’s Geneva Camp
- World Water Day today
- Mass funeral held to bury 26 slain in N. Zealand
- Rain likely untill tomorrow morning
- Six killed as car hits crowd in China
- Five killed as bus hits auto-rickshaw in Barishal
- Nearly 100 dead as ferry sinks in Iraq`s Tigris river
- New Zealand falls silent for mosque victims
- Pakistan to face Australia today in 1st ODI
- China chemical blast death toll rises to 44
- 1350 meters of Padma Bridge visible now
- All News »
- Ex-JaPa leader Mohsen Rashid joins Gono Forum
- Maize production likely bumper in Rangpur
- Registration of Shuprovat Paribahan bus cancelled
- Hidden meaning of writing on the rifle..
- Man held with shotgun at Dhaka airport
- Nationwide prog on Bangabandhu’s birth centenary
- Man’s mobile phone protects him from ‘arrow attack’
- Students again on road with ‘We want Justice’
- Local AL leader shot dead in Rangamati
- Indonesia floods, mudslides: death toll rises to 89
- 7 incl presiding officer shot dead in Rangamati
- Six dead, 30 injured in China chemical plant blast
- ‘Send cricket team to ensure security in future’
- Attack suspect Brenton Tarrant appears in court
- BUP student killed in Narda road crash, sparks protest
- First Bangladeshi girl in UN`s Education Conference
- AL leader stabbed dead in Sunamganj
- Monali’s Dhaka concert postponed
- NZ PM vows never to say gunman`s name
- Protest continues demanding justice for Abrar
- National SME fair begins
- Drug trader killed in Meherpur gunfight
- 100th birthday of Bangabandhu celebrated
- Student killed in Sirajganj road crash, road blockade
- Rain with gusty wind likely
- NZ mosque attack leaves 27 dead, Tigers scattered
- Tigers left New Zealand
- 12th death anniversary of Rana today
- 50 killed as flash floods strike Indonesia’s Papua
- All 50 victims of Christchurch attack identified: police