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President Trump Sends a Letter on Border Security to Congress

White House Sean Spicer Bannon Trump secureFrom the Office of the Press Secretary

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 4, 2019

This morning, President Donald J. Trump sent a letter to all Members of Congress on the need to secure our borders. He attached a presentation that Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen was planning to deliver during a meeting with Congressional leadership in the White House Situation Room earlier this week. Some of those present did not want to hear the presentation at the time, and so the President decided to make it available to all Members of Congress. The letter and accompanying presentation has been sent to Congressional Leadership and will be hand delivered to all Members of Congress throughout the day. Copies will also be delivered to the Clerk of the House and the Secretary of the Senate for their information. Below is the full text of the President’s letter, along with a gallery featuring the presentation slides.

Click here to view slides.

January 4, 2019

Dear Members of Congress:

Congratulations to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and her entire team, on her election to be Speaker of the House. I look forward to working together on our shared priorities for the American People, including rebuilding our infrastructure, reforming unfair trade deals, and reducing the price of prescription drugs. Our recent bipartisan success on numerous legislative accomplishments such as Criminal Justice Reform, opioid legislation, and the Farm Bill, underscores the extraordinary achievements that are possible when we rise above party politics to advance the good of the Nation as a whole.

As we begin this new Congress, our first task should be to reopen the Government and to deliver on our highest duty as elected officials: the security of the Nation and its borders.
It is the sovereign right of every nation to establish an immigration program in its national interest—lawfully admitting those who have followed the rules, while denying entry to those who break the rules or fail to meet the requirements established in law.

A nation that fails to control its borders cannot fulfill its most basic obligations to its citizens—physical safety, economic security, essential public services, and the uniform protection of our laws.

I was grateful for the opportunity to meet with Congressional leadership at the White House this Wednesday to discuss the border security crisis, and the need for a government funding bill that secures the border and keeps Americans safe.

During the meeting, there was debate over the nature and extent of this crisis and its impact on Americans. It had been my hope that Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen would have the opportunity to deliver a presentation discussing the facts about the depth and severity of the humanitarian crisis and the security crisis that is now unfolding at the Southern Border.

However, some of those present did not want to hear the presentation at the time, and so I have instead decided to make the presentation available to all Members of Congress. I encourage you to review it carefully, to share it with your staff, and to discuss it with other lawmakers. In crafting a Homeland Security bill, it is essential that we make decisions based upon the facts on the ground—not ideology and rhetoric—and that we listen to the law enforcement personnel on the front lines. The Southern Border is a very dangerous place—in fact, Border Patrol agents routinely encounter some of the most dangerous criminals, cartels, and traffickers anywhere in the world.

Effective border security must dramatically reduce the entry of illegal immigrants, criminals, and drugs; it must keep out terrorists, public safety threats, and those otherwise inadmissible under U.S. law; and it must ensure that those who do enter without legal permission can be promptly and safely returned home.

As the enclosed presentation makes clear, current funding levels, resources, and authorities are woefully inadequate to meet the scope of the problem. We are no longer in a status quo situation at the Southern Border but in a crisis situation. Status quo funding is not enough.

  • In fiscal year (FY) 2018, 17,000 adults at the border with existing criminal records were arrested by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and border agents.
  • In FY2017 and FY2018, ICE officers arrested approximately 235,000 aliens on various criminal charges or convictions within the interior of the United States—including roughly 100,000 for assault, 30,000 for sex crimes, and 4,000 for homicides.
  • We are now averaging 60,000 illegal and inadmissible aliens a month on our Southern Border.
  • Last month alone, more than 20,000 minors were smuggled into the United States.
  • The immigration court backlog is nearly 800,000 cases.
  • There has been a 2,000 percent increase in asylum claims over the last five years, with the largest growth coming from Central America—while around 9 in 10 claims from Central American migrants are ultimately rejected by the immigration courts, the applicant has long since been released into the interior of the United States.
  • In FY2017, roughly 135,000 illegal and inadmissible family units arrived from Central America. Of those, less than 2 percent have been successfully removed from the country due to a shortage of resources and glaring loopholes in our federal laws.
  • So far in FY2019, we have seen a 280 percent increase in family units from FY2018.
  • 300 Americans are killed every week from heroin—90 percent of which floods across our Southern Border.
  • Illegal immigration is a humanitarian crisis: 1 in 3 migrant women is sexually assaulted on the journey northward to the U.S. border; 50 illegal migrants a day are referred for emergency medical care; and CBP rescues 4,300 people a year who are in danger and distress.
    Illegal immigration is NOT progressive—by every measure, it is unfair, unjust, uncompassionate, and cruel. Many people are killed. It hurts both those who make the journey and so many communities bearing the cost in lives, safety, and dollars.

Senator Chuck Schumer once said: “Illegal immigration is wrong, plain and simple. Until the American people are convinced that we will stop future flows of illegal immigration, we will make no progress on dealing with the millions of illegal immigrants who are here now, and on rationalizing our system of legal immigration. That’s plain and simple and unavoidable.”

Absolutely critical to border security and national security is a wall or a physical barrier that prevents entry in the first place. Members of both parties—including then Senators Obama and Clinton, current Senator Schumer, and many other members of the House and Senate—all voted for a hard, physical barrier. Walls work. That’s why rich, powerful, and successful people build them around their homes. All Americans deserve the same protection. In Israel, it is 99 percent effective.

We must also close the legal gaps in America’s defenses. Loopholes in federal law that prevent removals provide a magnet for illegal entry, and a lucrative business model for vicious coyotes, while overwhelming the U.S. immigration system. The worst loopholes incentivize the smuggling of minors. Under these legal loopholes, if an illegal minor, or those traveling with a minor, merely set foot on United States soil, they cannot be successfully returned home. This explains the profound increases in the arrival of minors travelling both alone and with adults on the dangerous journey to our border.

To protect these children from abuse, and stop this illegal flow, we must close these loopholes. This is an urgent humanitarian necessity. Children are terribly used by criminals and coyotes to gain access to our country—they are the biggest victims of all.

The most pressing legal changes are as follows:

  • Terminate the Flores Settlement Agreement—which is preventing families from being held together through removal; and
  • Amend the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA), to allow for the safe and humane return of illegally-smuggled minors back to their families in their home countries.

Americans have endured decades of broken promises on illegal immigration. Now, is the time for both parties to rise above the partisan discord, to set aside political convenience, and to put the national interest first. Now is the time—this is the moment—to finally secure the border and create the lawful and safe immigration system Americans, and those wanting to become Americans, deserve.

Sincerely,

DONALD J. TRUMP

Reprinted with permission from - Whitehouse.gov

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Debra

Use 50% of siezed drug cartels money to build the wall. That would get the funds faster than waiting on the like of Pelosi to change her mind.

M Ready

Share this publicly so that it cannot be ignored!

steve

An excellent letter, in every way. It’s about time someone in power had the courage to stand up for what is right. I just hope President Trump will stick with it until we get what we need to keep our nation safe. So far he’s 100 percent spot-on right. At long last we have a president who speaks truthfully and clearly about the dangers facing us. What a breath of fresh air!

That said I do not delude myself that a wall is any sort of panacea. People will defeat the wall in one way or another. That’s not the wall’s real value. Rather it is symbolic of a change in direction, a commitment to improved and rational border security. And I believe that is precisely why the anti-American progressives are so opposed to it.

Ken

We quarantine (temporarily) plants and animals at the border so we might prevent spreading disease among our own agriculture and landscape, and also among our own pets and livestock. That is a wise necessity. When did it become less concern for us to check out human entry in order to protect US citizens from TB and other contagious disease – not to mention the respect for legal processes?

Immigration is a great benefit to the US when done properly, but it has become a curse under a political process that has no regard for established law and even simple common sense.

Linda Reinartz

That is an amazing letter. It’s also amazing thar Pelosi, Schumer, Newsome and the rest of the left can’t understand what this is all about. Interesting that when Obama was president Pelosi and Schumer BOTH voted for a wall, but of course, did NOTHING to make it happen. It’s STRICTLY politics at its best! Shame on them.

Tolbert Barton jr

Thank you Mr President for upholding your oath to protect the nation for enemies both foreign and domestic. Thank you for standing up for the people of the United States

BajaRon

It is obvious that the Democrats do not care about these facts. The only fact they are interested in is that every illegal entry represents a potential Democrat voter. That is why these aliens are not only encouraged, but assisted in their effort to break our laws, and to enter and remain here illegally.

Increased crime, disease, and an ever increasing burden on the legal and welfare systems (which they refuse to acknowledge) are simply acceptable inconveniences necessary to achieve the liberal agenda. Democrats are increasingly successful in their effort to dilute the legitimate vote of the American citizen allowing them to seize power and control the country.

T Shultz

Ask the people who live in the area what they think should be done about boarder security. Also let your congressman/congresswoman know it’s time to get off their millionaire butt’s and get back to work together.

Douglas W Halfacre

Great idea about using confiscated drug money to build the wall as well as increase the number of agents. This needs to happen quickly!

Deb

Thank you, AMAC, for posting President Trump’s letter.

Donald

Nay sayers,please listen, this is a remedy , not a party winner,an American solution!

KVL

I agree 100% with Ptesident Trump.

Hurshel Motes

I do not think it matters where the money comes from to build the wall or what kind of wall gets built, just get something built . America cannot support the whole world. We are giving America away. When illegals get into this country from where ever WE LOSE. We pay for it by having increase crime, especially violent crimes, such as murders, rape , assaults mass shootings and many others. We also pay dearly by giving away Social Security, bought and paid for by working Americans. This is why we have such a monstrous national dept and still are about to be bankrupt. As President Trump has stated, “now is the time to take action”.

Tolbert Barton jr

Use seized money from drug cartels and the US Military to build the wall. This would be on the job testing for our engineering and construction forces and would keep the cost of the wall down because they are already active duty and their oath is to protect the nation from enemies both foreign and domestic also, so use our troops to protect the MOTHER LAND!

E J

I agree wholeheartedly with President Trump. We have a president who stands up for the citizens, looks out for our physical and economic well-being and works by the Constitution. However, Pelosi and crying Chuck, do not like it. Shame on them. I hope America has now learned that voting in democrats to the majority in the house was a great mistake. “Stand firm and Rock on Mr. President”.

Richard Flaherty

A country without borders is not a country. Our citizens and immigrants deserve a clear lawful and fair immigration policy which starts with a lawful entry into our country. We have always needed lawful immigration and must
Acheive it for the safety of all.

Philip Hammersley

If “walls don’t work” as the Dimms say, take down all the concrete barriers around the US Capitol and make Schumer and Pelosi remove any fences around their houses!

gin

How many people would like to stand in line for theater tickets, concert tickets or game tickets only to have 10-12 people come and get in front of them? There are many who are going through the proper channels to get here. We also have to do away with the anchor baby law.

Judy Hanley

I agree 100%. Do this now. America cannot wait any amount of time to secure our southern border from illegal entry. President Trump has done so much to improve America. Let him do the job he was voted to do!

Bill Thompson

The President and the presentation could have done a better job of describing the problems involving communicable diseases carried by illegal immigrants.