President Trump Sends a Letter on Border Security to Congress

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

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.



Reprinted with permission from - Whitehouse.gov

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Lisa Outlaw
3 years ago

Gofundme.com/TheTrumpWall is a place to donate for the wall. It was set up by a wounded vet who decided that we the people could do this for border security.

3 years ago

How about using illegal aliens sitting in prisons on our tax dollar for labor to build the wall? That way Trump could truthfully say that Mexico is building the wall! Of course, there probably aren’t enough prisoners to build the wall, as most of them are out in the public harming American citizens!

3 years ago

So thankful for President Trump who takes a stand and does not back down. Finally, a president who gets things done. Praying for strength for President Trump.

3 years ago

Thank You President Trump for standing up for the American people. You are ONE THOUSAND % right…. The Dems and their school yard bullies need to get off their high horse and do the job they were elected to do… that is if they even know what their job is suppose to be. it will only change when something hits their home ie.. loved ones, then they will change their obstructing tune.

3 years ago

Excellent letter! It is a shame that we have so many anti-Americans in our government! Our bought and paid for media is contributing to the ignorance of Anericans and we will all pay the price! President Trump is the best leader we have ever had as he is the first to not play politics but to charge forward and unapologeticly do the right and best thing for our country. I, for one, support these efforts and continue to pray for his leadership and for our country! I am sick and tired of politicians that lie, cheat, and steal from the taxpayers! Let’s vote in people that work for a living and know what it is like to have politicians totally ignore our wishes! So sick of the “politically correct” and “morally deficient” political left! May God relieve them from leadership roles so we can have God at the forefront instead of allowing the Devil in charge of our society!

Laura Pool
3 years ago

Use confiscated drug money to build the wall!

Thomas H
3 years ago

Could Trump issue some type of presidential directive stating that any wall around a politician’s house cannot be more secure than what exists at our southern border? Would change a lot of minds on the left!

3 years ago

Since we must catch and release so many of the illegal immigrants, I suggest we release them in large blocks, put them on buses and deliver them to California, New York and any other Sanctuary states. They want them, let ’em have ’em. Why should the border states and others who don’t want them have to take them?

3 years ago

The Dimms are just sick…according to Schumer and Pelosi the President is now acting in malice. Sick, sick, sick!!! And they come off looking like the fools they are. The President needs to act unilaterally and NOW!!!

3 years ago

I don’t believe the Leftist care about the American’s well being in general. They live in their bubble and want to play games to delay the building of the wall. As each day passes, we are losing the sovereign America we once had, we are now sinking into a melting pot with no say in what government does. Government has gotten too big.

3 years ago

Wonder if the democrats will even both to read the letter President Trump sent to them. I am so disgusted with the democrats that it just really makes me sick. Years ago Pelosi, Schumer, H.Clinton and even Obama was for the wall. Now that President Trump wants the wall, they don’t want anything to do with it. I can’t understand them.
Maybe it’s because they are not the ones doing it. President trump has done a lot for our Country and they can’t stand it.

X neal
3 years ago

Anyone not agreeing we need to secure the border and change our immigration laws after reading this letter truly has their head in the sand. Congress, please put aside your differences and compromise on a solution to these problems Do this for all of America

Let there be light
3 years ago

I wish this partial government shutdown included the
Congress! If they weren’t getting their checks this
week, they might have a different attitude about working
on border security. Border security is the most important
issue for America, as some have succinctly said, “A country
without borders is not a country” This United States of America
is OUR country and we need to keep it that way!

3 years ago

Excellent Letter,President Trump!

3 years ago

We the Americans people need to band together against all opponents to our national and border security. March on Washington if necessary! This continued assault on our safety as a sovereign nation is a disgrace. We not only need a wall but also e-verify, stiff penalties for those who employ illegals, increased border agents, drones, etc. pull out all the stops! We as a nation give generously to many other nations and yet citizens from those very nations want to force their way into our nation and steal from hard working Americans; taking more advantage of our compassionate generosity. We WORK so they can live off us. I know why Democrats don’t care about border security but I cannot understand why ALL of the Americans don’t see how important this is. Deception and denial runs deep.

3 years ago

I have to cringe when I hear some of the Dems suggesting that we can use modern tech such as Drones and satellites to stop illegal’s coming across the border. What a laugh that is – satellites do not stare at the ground as they are moving about 20,000 miles an hour so its just a snapshot in time and if the weather is bad – no picture. Drones would have to be big ones (military type) that can loiter for several hours – again they can’t see the entire border at a time so there would be big gaps in coverage. Drones require a lot of ground support, analysts, maintenance, trained pilots and communications links to a central ground station (wonder what the costs of that would be). Oh- drones can’t fly. Is adverse weather ..

3 years ago

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.

3 years ago

In my long life, I have never seen anything like this. I think the Democrats are BRAIN DEAD! They would not even listen to a presentation
given by the Secretary of Homeland Security laying out the facts of the situation at the Border. They don’t even believe the Border Agents
that are at the Border and have the 1st hand information on what is taking place. Do they believe anybody??? I doubt it. I can’t understand
why they want walls around their property. What are they afraid of? President Trump has laid out all the facts of the Border Crisis. He
can’t even speak to the American people without them having to have their say and call everything he says a lie. The President is right but
because they hate him so much, they will say anything and do anything to dispute him. I understand they are sending tons of money
a broad so why don’t they all move over there and take the fake news with them and maybe we could all have sanity again.


3 years ago

Unless wetbacks are physically stopped from crashing our borders, there is no border security; whoever says otherwise is lying like a rug. The only three ways I know of to stop illegal crossings are a wall of steel spikes, a wall of concrete, and a wall of bullets.

3 years ago

I agree

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