President Trump is expected to soon declare a national emergency over the humanitarian crisis at the nation’s border with Mexico. In 2018, 400,000 individuals illegally entered the country. A number, say experts, that is unsustainable by both immigration staff and the welfare system.
Today paychecks would have been issued for 800,000 government employees, but for the first time since the shutdown they won’t see one as it nears its third week and looks to become the longest in US history.
Most Americans meet the news with a yawn. The shutdown affects just 25 percent of federal employees, and, they say, the money for paychecks and departments will eventually be paid.
What they are paying attention to is the situation at the southern border.
But a new poll shows that Americans say there is a crisis at the border. While Democrat leadership responded that there is no crisis after President Trump’s address to the nation this week, a video surfaced of President Obama using exactly those words when his administration dealt with the border issue. Trump was quick to thank Obama in a tweet, much to the consternation of Democrat legislators who would rather forget Obama spoke those words just two years ago.
President Trump and his supporters want a wall on the southern border with Mexico, and he says he’s getting closer to declaring a national emergency in order to get it done.
“If we don’t make a deal with Congress, most likely I will do that. I would actually say, I would,” he told Fox’s Sean Hannity.
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham (SC) told the president on Twitter: “Mr. President, the Democrats are not working in good faith with you. Declare an emergency, build the wall now.”
And President Trump tweeted this video from the border Thursday, standing with border agents who want to see a wall built there:
Inside the Senate, Democrat Chuck Schumer (NY) demanded that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell allow members to vote on legislation to re-open the government.
“Why aren’t we voting on them? Because Leader McConnell is hiding behind President Trump,” Schumer said.
But Republican Sen. James Lankford (OK) believes Democrats want the crisis to escalate.
“Lately what I’m hearing from Democrat colleagues is they quietly hope the president will declare a national emergency and build the wall out of something else and so they can go back to their base and say I stood strong against the president but he did it anyway,” Lankford explained.
Pressure is mounting to find an escape hatch from the three-week impasse. Some 800,000 workers, more than half of them still on the job, will miss their first paycheck Friday under the stoppage.
Some of them came out to protest in cities across the country. Air traffic controller Dan McCabe fears losing his home.
“I mean, we’re not driving the bus on this, but we’re under the bus on this,” McCabe said.
The president also has to fight the media’s message which, according to Scott Whitlock of Newsbusters.com, is firmly on the side of the Democrats.
“They’re very much taking the Democratic talking points as to who is to blame for the shutdown,” Whitlock said, “and they’re blaming the president.”
The president has canceled an upcoming trip to Davos, Switzerland in 10 days, which means he’s prepared to keep fighting. He’s also consulting with attorneys on the use of his emergency powers and with the Army Corps of Engineers on finding money for the wall.