Border Wall | Texas Public Radio

Border Wall

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In the early evening, members of the Hidalgo County Republican Party hosted a blood drive outside the office. Inside, people prepared for their regularly scheduled meeting. Neat rows of chairs were lined up in front of cut-out figures of President Trump and Abraham Lincoln.

Everyone chatted, mostly about politics. President Trump was scheduled to visit McAllen on Thursday — a visit to further his case for a border wall.


From Texas Standard

President Donald Trump addressed the nation Tuesday night. It was rumored that he would declare a national emergency as a means of moving ahead with construction of a border wall, despite Congress' unwillingness to provide the funding – that conflict is what led to the current partial government shutdown. But in his address, though he did argue for the importance of constructing a wall, he not declare an emergency.

Democratic U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar represents Texas' 28th District, which runs from South San Antonio into the Rio Grande Valley, and covers a large stretch of Texas' border with Mexico. Cuellar says the president's arguments about the need for a border wall are wrong.

President Trump used his first prime-time address from the Oval Office to make the case for his controversial border wall. The president's demand for $5.7 billion in wall funding — and Democrats' opposition — has led to a partial shutdown of the federal government.

Here we check some of the arguments made by the president and top Democrats in their response.

Trump's Speech

Claim 1: Humanitarian and security crisis

"There is a growing humanitarian and security crisis at our Southern border."

President Trump delivered the first Oval Office address of his presidency Tuesday night — and it came in the midst of a protracted partial government shutdown.

There were a lot of questions going into the address, but there were at least as many afterward — especially, and most importantly: What now?

So what did we learn from the president's address and the rare Democratic response? Here are seven insights:

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President Trump has suggested that he might resort to using "emergency" powers to build his border wall if he is not able to reach agreement on funding with congressional Democrats.

"We are looking at it very strongly," Trump told reporters on Sunday. "We're looking at a national emergency, because we have a national emergency."

The president does have broad powers to act in a crisis situation, but those powers are not unlimited. And critics say Trump should be careful about invoking them in this instance.

From Texas Standard:

Our attention turns once again to the Texas side of the Rio Grande where President Donald Trump has doubled down on his plan build a wall along the border with Mexico. Over the weekend, Trump said he may declare a national emergency to secure the funding for the wall after White House officials and top legislative aids failed to reach a compromise about it, and also failed to end the partial government shutdown.

While politicians hash out immigration policy in Washington, McAllen Mayor Jim Darling deals with the day-to-day impact of immigration in the Rio Grande Valley – one of Texas' busiest border-crossing regions. Darling says he sees several hundred asylum seekers per day come to respite centers in the area. And while media have focused on the Central American migrant caravans moving through Mexico, he says they've missed what's actually happening at the border.

Updated at 6:35 p.m. ET

More troops are expected to be deployed to the Southern border to construct or upgrade 160 miles of fencing and provide medical care to a steady stream of migrant families arriving from Central America, according to military sources.

The deployment and fence construction along the California and Arizona borders would be paid for by the Pentagon, from the Department of Defense's discretionary funding.

Updated 3:55 pm E.T. Friday

The government shutdown began with the president's demand for border security money. But it has also halted E-Verify, a federal program that's supposed to prevent immigrants from working here illegally.

If U.S. employers want to check whether their prospective hires are eligible to work, they can't. The E-Verify database is "currently unavailable due to a lapse in government appropriations," according to a note on the government-run website.

President Trump launched his campaign in 2015 promising, "I will build a great, great wall on our southern border. And I will have Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words."

Before long, supporters were chanting, "Build the wall!" and Trump was leading them in a call and response. Who will pay for the wall? Mexico.

He told rally-goers that a lot of politicians said it wouldn't be possible to get Mexico to pay for it. "It's going to be so easy; it's going to be so easy," Trump insisted at the time.

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