Tag: Border Security

Re: Immigration – Remarks by President Trump in Roundtable on Immigration and Border Security | Calexico, California – 4/5/2019

If you look at our southern border, the number of people and the number of the amount of drugs, human trafficking — the human trafficking is something that nobody used to talk about.  I talk about it.  It’s a terrible thing.  It’s ancient and it’s never been bigger than it is — modern, right now, today.  All over the world, by the way, not just here.  All over the world.  Human trafficking — a terrible thing.  President Trump



U.S. Border Patrol Calexico Station
Calexico, California

12:39 P.M. PDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you all very much.  It’s a great honor.  And I’ll be here many times.  We’re building a lot of wall.  We’re going to look at a piece of it today.  And I was just told it had a tremendous — it’s had a tremendous impact already — the piece that we’re going to be looking at.

But we have — under contract and under construction — we have a lot of things happening.  And we expect to have close to 400 miles done within about two years from now.  That’s a lot.  Four hundred miles will cover most of it.

I just want to thank everybody for being here.  We have some of our great, great people from the state.  And of all places, it’s California.  And we love California.  But those people wanted us to build wall and we got it built — including the wall in San Diego, which is pretty much completed and it’s had a tremendous impact.  That wall has had, Kevin, a tremendous impact.

So I want to thank the Border Patrol Station in Calexio –Calexico, and it’s been a great group of people.  I just met them backstage.  And the way you work is pretty incredible.  And the job you do is beyond belief.

We have a system that’s full.  It’s just full.  And I was telling some of the people before: If it’s full, there’s nothing you can do about it.  We have some horrible court decisions that have been made over the years.  It’s very unfair and that’s the way it is.

But the system is full.  And when it’s full, there’s nothing you can do.  You have to say, “I’m sorry, we can’t take you.”  We’ve been trying to take people, and I have to disagree with it.  We’ve been trying to take people and you can’t do it.  You can’t do it.  So we’re going to look at that and we’re going to look at it very, very strongly.

I’d like to thank Secretary Nielsen for being here; General Semonite, Chief of Army Corps of Engineers, for being here.  Really, thank you very much.  It’s been fantastic, the job you’ve done.  And you’re going to be speaking later on and explaining exactly that’s happening with the wall and how much.  In fact, we’re going to be doing some of it now, I think.  Probably a better time to do it.

Commissioner Kevin McAleenan of our group.  We have spent a lot of time together.  And, Kevin, you’re doing a great job.  And thank you very much for being here.  Appreciate it.

California Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez.  We appreciate very much.  Melissa, thank you very much.  I appreciate it.  National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd.  Been a friend of mine for a long time.  And making a lot of progress, Brandon.  And I’ll tell you, we’re really making progress in letting people know that this is an absolute emergency.



I see that some of our biggest opponents, over the last two days, have said, “You know what?  It really is an emergency.”  They can’t believe what’s happening.  And part of it is because of the fact that the country is doing so well.  And part of it is just a scam.  People want to come in and they shouldn’t be coming in.  They shouldn’t be coming in.  And there are people that are causing problems, and gang members and lots of others.  We’re getting them out.  We’re stopping them, for the most part, but we’re getting them out when they do get in.  And nobody has done the job we’ve done.

National Border Patrol Council President — so, I want to thank you very much.  You’ve been fantastic.  And several members of law enforcement.   I want to also thank Leader Kevin McCarthy.  He came in from Washington with us today.  He’s been an amazing leader.  The relationship is the best we’ve ever had, I think, as Republicans — the unification, the unified nature of what we’re doing has been really something very special.  And I want to thank Kevin very much.  You’re doing a fantastic job.  I appreciate it.

And I think you and your group are going to be leading the charge on getting rid of some of these horrible loopholes that everybody knows is very bad.  Whether it’s catch and release or whether it’s visa lottery, so many of them — chain migration is a total disaster.  The asylum laws are broken.  They’re totally broken.

And, look, I inherited this stuff, and we’re going to get it fixed.  We have to.

So Kevin, I appreciate you being here and I appreciate you leading the charge.

I also want to state that there is indeed an emergency on our southern border.  It’s been loud and clear.  We’re in court and a lot of people aren’t even bringing too many of the suits anymore.  A lot of people are going to bring the suit; pretty hard of them to say there’s not an emergency.  We have a big emergency at our southern border.

The United States had more than 70,000 illegal migrants rush our border.  They rush our border.  And we have military, and these are great military people.  These are people that are strong and solid and love our country.  But they can’t act the way they would under other conditions and there’s not a lot they can do, but they’ve been doing it anyway.  And we’re going to bring up some more military.

And want to also thank Mexico, because Mexico — and I’m totally willing to close the border — but Mexico, over the last four days, has done more than they’ve ever done.  We were talking about that before, Kevin.  They’re apprehending people now by the thousands and bringing them back to their countries, bringing them back to where they came from.  And I think you see that.  That’s at their southern border.  And that’s a big difference.  That will help us, you know — pretty much 90 percent, 80 percent.  What do you think, fellas?  Pretty close, right?  But that’s a big difference.  They’ve never done that before.  I mean, when I say “never done it,” I mean, like, in 30 years, they’ve never done it like they’re doing it right now.

So the crisis is a direct result of the obstruction by Democrats in Congress.  And we have to do something about it.  And we’re going to.  And I think a lot of the Democrats feel that way, too.  I think they feel it.  They see it.  There’s not much they can do, but to say, “Wow.  What was that I just saw on television?”

Since October, agents along the 70-mile stretch of border here in El Centro Sector have seen a nearly 400 percent increase in family units arriving in the sector.  And you compare that with other years, it’s pretty amazing.

But what we’ve done and what we’re doing, you’re going to see some very, very strong results.  And as soon as the barriers — or the walls; I like calling them “walls” because that’s what they are — go up, you’re going to have a tremendous impact.  Where we are going to be, in a little while, I’ve heard from people in that area that the impact has been incredible.

It’s a colossal surge and it’s overwhelming our immigration system, and we can’t let that happen.  So, as I say, and this is our new statement: The system is full.  Can’t take you anymore. Whether it’s asylum, whether it’s anything you want, it’s illegal immigration.  We can’t take you anymore.  We can’t take you.  Our country is full.  Our area is full.  The sector is full.  Can’t take you anymore, I’m sorry.  Can’t happen.  So turn around.  That’s the way it is.If you look at our southern border, the number of people and the number of the amount of drugs, human trafficking — the human trafficking is something that nobody used to talk about.  I talk about it.  It’s a terrible thing.  It’s ancient and it’s never been bigger than it is — modern, right now, today.  All over the world, by the way, not just here.  All over the world.  Human trafficking — a terrible thing.

And they come into the areas of the border where you don’t have the wall.  They don’t come through your points of entry.  They come into areas where you don’t have the wall.  And they make a left, or they make a right.  They come right into the country — loaded up with people, in many cases.  And it’s pretty sad.

By the end of next year, we’ll have completed or begun construction — and that’s what we’re really here with the Army Corps of Engineers for.  And I think what I’d like to do is — while we’re on that subject, General, if you could just give a little detail of the wall that’s under construction, what we’ve built, where we’re going, because the press never likes to talk about it.  They don’t like to talk about what we’ve done.  It doesn’t fit their narrative, but we’ve done a lot.  We’ve renovated a lot and we’re building a lot.  And maybe you could give a little summation of that now.

LIEUTENANT GENERAL SEMONITE:  Thanks, Mr. President.  You know, before we talk concrete and steel, though, I think it’s important to talk a little bit about, you know, maybe service to the nation and protecting this country.  Four days ago, I was in a combat zone with our service members, and I saw the dedication that they have to be able to protect ourselves from overseas.  Unbelievable service.

But, sir, I would put these agents right in front of you today — the Customs and Border Patrol of the same exact team — they protect America here from within.  And I’ve been on the ground; I’ve seen the dedication they have.  And this is not for a paycheck.  This is not for any other kind of reward.  This is to be able to step up and take care of this country.

So I think that, before we do anything else, we’ve just got to make sure we have, you know, acknowledged the great work that these guys do.  A phenomenal job.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.

LIEUTENANT GENERAL SEMONITE:  When it comes to the actual construction, the Corps of Engineers is very, very proud to work for Secretary Nielsen and the Commissioner.

We have put in the ground over 82 miles that is up to date.  And then, right now, by the end of this year, we’ll have another 97 miles that will go in.  And I’m really talking the entire depth of the border all the way across from Texas into California.  And then, sir, where the money that both Congress has appropriated and other money that you have been able to direct, we will put in the ground another 277 miles in the next year.  What that will end up with is by the end of — around December of 2020, the total amount of money that we will have put in the ground in the last couple of years will be about 450 miles.  That’s probably about $8 billion, in total about 33 different projects.

There are a lot of different complexities — some of that is on federal land, some of that is on private land, some of it can be done relatively quick because you don’t have to have a land acquisition.  Others we want to make sure we go through a due diligence.  But when it comes to both the capacity of the contract community to be able to execute this, the dedication of the CBP and DHS to be able to set the conditions for us to be able to build, and then, for our team on the ground, we are committed to continue to be able to make this happen.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much, sir. So you heard the numbers.  The numbers are really spectacular.  We’ve gotten it, and it’s very, very tough to get money from the Democrats.  So I’m getting it for everything else, but we don’t get it for the wall.

But the good news is we are getting it for the ports — the ports of entry.  We are getting it for machinery.  The detection — drug detection machinery.  We’re getting a lot of money coming in and that’s good.  And the wall is like pulling teeth.  It’s pretty tough.

I want to just say — ICE Special Agent in Charge, Dave Shaw.  Where are you Dave?

SPECIAL AGENT SHAW:  Right here, sir.

THE PRESIDENT:  Dave, thank you very much for doing a great job.  I appreciate it very much.

We also have — in addition to Kevin McCarthy, we have some of our great people in Congress.  And I want I thank you all for being here: Doug LaMalfa, Duncan Hunter — where’s Duncan?  Where’s Duncan?  Hi, Duncan.  Hi.

REPRESENTATIVE HUNTER:  I’ll accept (inaudible).  (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Hi.  He was right back there.  Thank you, Duncan.

Ken Calvert.  Thank you, Ken.  Thank you, Ken.  Appreciate it.

Chuck Fleischmann.  Chuck, thanks.  Great job you’re doing.

Tom McClintock.  What a good name that is.  My friend, too.  Thank you, Tom, very much.

Kay Granger.  Kay?  Thank you very much.  Great job.

And Mike Rogers.  Thanks, Mike.  Really terrific.

And they have been working hard.  Working all the time.  This is one of their big things that they work on.  They feel so strongly about it.

So with that, I’d like to maybe ask you to say a few words, Gloria.


THE PRESIDENT:  And I appreciate what I see over there.  That’s very nice.

CHIEF PATROL AGENT CHAVEZ:  Thank you, Mr. President, very much.  On behalf of the men and women on the El Centro Sector, and myself, I just — we’re extremely honored that you took the time to come out here, learn about our challenges, our needs out here in the 70 miles of border that our agents patrol.

You’re absolutely correct, General.  These men and women go above and beyond the call of duty here for the work that they handle on that border.  We are part of several other sectors on the southern border that are overwhelmed.  Our resources are extremely strained.  The — we are not prepared to deal with the amount of people, family units, and children, and now organized caravans that are coming across this border today.

Our agents are being stretched in so many different directions.  I am truly proud of every single one of them because they do so much to protect this country —


CHIEF PATROL AGENT CHAVEZ:  — and even continue with the processing and enduring the callous actions of these smugglers.

Here in this sector, just this year, Fiscal Year ’19, we have identified 193 fake families — people who are just teaming up kids with them to come through because they know that they can get a court date later and be able to get released into the community.

So those are the challenges that the agents are dealing with.  But they’re out there.  They’re trying to investigate as much as they can to get it done.

We touched on the wall.  And, you know, we’re very fortunate here in the El Centro Sector.  We have about 58 miles of border barrier.  Most of it is old.  It’s ineffective for us nowadays.  It’s over 20 years old.  And for groups that come over, it’s very easily for them to cross.

So, fortunately, with your approval, last year we were able to construct, with the help of DOD — by the way, DOD: phenomenal.


CHIEF PATROL AGENT CHAVEZ:  Phenomenal support that we’ve been receiving from the Department of Defense.  Without their support we wouldn’t be as efficient as are, operationally, because they are here providing us that support from the behind the scenes.

Right now we have 37 Marines out there monitoring cameras for us.

THE PRESIDENT:  Yeah.  Yeah.

CHIEF PATROL AGENT CHAVEZ:  So those are 37 Border Patrol Agents that don’t have to be doing that duty because they’re on the frontline.

But one of the things I wanted to bring up was: That border wall was constructed in eight months, from February to October.  As soon as it was completed, we started measuring and we started monitoring its effectiveness.  So for the first quarter of FY19, we have had many, many efficiencies noted.

For example: illegal entries, in general — they decreased by 75 percent.  Central American people that used to get arrested right through that area decreased by 86 percent.  India nationals — this sector was leading the country with India national apprehensions for like two or three years.  The wall goes up; it drops by 56 percent.

The use of force incidents — which are more important to me than anything because it’s assaults and incidents that directly affect our Border Patrol agents doing the job on the border — they dropped by 65 percent in those two miles of 30-foot border wall.  So the border wall works for us.

For Border Patrol agents, a border wall system is what works.  We need the border barrier.  We need to provide the requirements that meet our need.  In this case, for us, it’s 30 feet high.  That’s what we ask for and that’s what was provided.  So thank you —

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  Thank you.

CHIEF PATROL AGENT CHAVEZ:  — on behalf of the Border Patrol here for allowing us to have that.  Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  That’s very nice.  I appreciate it.  (Applause.)

CHIEF PATROL AGENT CHAVEZ:  Appreciate it.  Thank you to you guys, to all of you.

THE PRESIDENT:  And usually, that 35 percent is coming around; they’re not going over because, when people are watching, they’re not going over.  They’re going around where it ends.  So it goes, and it ends, and they’ll go around because it’s virtually 100 percent effective in terms of going through.

So as we extend it, it becomes — as you know folks know better than anybody — as we extend it, it becomes virtually impossible, except for a Mount-Everest-type climber.  And there aren’t too many of them.  (Laughter.)  It becomes virtually impossible to go through.  So that’s really something.  Those are great.  Thank you very much.

CHIEF PATROL AGENT CHAVEZ:  Thank you, Mr. President.

I did ask the team of agents — they didn’t want — did not want you to leave from here — because your time is precious — they wanted to present you with a nice memento —


CHIEF PATROL AGENT CHAVEZ:  — in appreciation for all the support that you’ve given us.  So we went ahead and secured a piece of the new border wall that is out here in El Centro Sector.

THE PRESIDENT:  That’s nice.

CHIEF PATROL AGENT CHAVEZ:  And I would like to present this to you.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.

CHIEF PATROL AGENT CHAVEZ:  It reads this way, it says:

Number 45, Mr. President, the agents and employees of the U.S. Border Patrol, El Centro Sector are the tip of the spear proudly defending America’s borders.  In recognition of your commitment and unwavering support for the men and women on the frontlines and the border security mission of the United States, we would like to present you with this piece of the first 30-foot border wall installed along the United States border with Mexico.  Honor first.  United States Border Patrol.  El Centro Sector.  April 5th, 2019.

THE PRESIDENT:  That’s beautiful.  Thank you.  Thank you, Gloria.

CHIEF PATROL AGENT CHAVEZ:  So thank you very much.  (Applause.)  Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT:  That’s a heavy piece of wall.

CHIEF PATROL AGENT CHAVEZ:  Yes, it is.  (Laughter.)  Yes, it is.  Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.

CHIEF PATROL AGENT CHAVEZ:  Appreciate it.  We’ll keep it here.  Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.

Madam Secretary, please.

SECRETARY NIELSEN:  Oh, sir I — I think Gloria probably said it quite well and General Semonite.  I just want to thank you always for coming out to the field to listen to the men and women.  We greatly appreciate your support.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.

SECRETARY NIELSEN:  And I want to thank all of our folks from Congress for being here.  We really appreciate you listening to the men and women who are on the “tip of the spear,” as Gloria said, and helping us resource the Department to do the mission that you’ve given us.

So thank you all for being here.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  Thank you very much.  I appreciate it.


MR. JUDD:  Mr. President, thank you very much for having me here.  The men and women of the Border Patrol really appreciate your time.  We know that Air Force One has never seen — in your predecessor’s time, Air Force One has never been this close to the border before.  So these men and women here, they greatly appreciate you coming out and the time that you’ve given them.  (Applause.)

And, by the way, I didn’t think Secret Service was supposed to let guns in the room.  (Laughter.)


MR. JUDD:  What’s up with that?

THE PRESIDENT:  We trust him.  We trust him, I think.

MR. JUDD:  On a — on a serious note, I began my career right here in El Centro 21 years ago — in the El Centro Sector.

I work with people like Butch Mauldin, Pat Whipple, Mario Campos, Mike Matzke.  We work pre-wall, post-wall.  We’ve seen what happens when walls are built.  We’ve seen how illegal immigration is driven low when we build those physical barriers.  People say that it’s “archaic.”  People say that they don’t work, but in reality — and what Chief Chavez just explained — those walls do, in fact, work.

Frankly — and I appreciate the congressmen that are here, because I know they support your agenda — but, for those congressmen that want to be obstructionists, I say if they’re not going to be a part of the solution, at least get out of your way.  Let your administration —

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.

MR. JUDD:  — do what needs to be done to get the border secure.

And with that, I’ll turn it back over to you.

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, I just want to thank you.  You’ve been an incredible representative of your men and women, I can tell you that.  He’s constantly getting us to do what’s right.  And Chris and so many others, you guys are fantastic and I appreciate it.  Even from before I started, they were calling.  They want to see it happen.  And it’s happening.  And I want to just thank you very much.

I — you know, when you talk about previous administrations — so we have a stretch along the Rio Grande where — and you people know exactly where I’m talking about.  It’s about 38 miles — done by, actually, both previous administrations.  It was sort of done as a combination of one going into the other.  And it’s a wall — not a good-looking wall.  It’s a wall.  It’s got 36 doors in it.  Big doors.  Very big doors.  And they never put the doors on.  So it’s 38 miles with 36 doors that you can drive a truck through.  There’s only one problem: They never put the doors on it.

So we’re putting the doors on it.  Or, even better, maybe not putting any doors.  I said, “Maybe you do it without the doors.”  Because putting the doors on cost most than the property is worth.  I’d rather give the money for the property and just say, “Bye-bye,” or sell it to somebody on the other side.

But, I mean, literally, putting the doors on cost more money.  I said, “What’s the property worth on the other side?”  “Much less than the doors.”  These are doors with the hydraulic.  They need hydraulic because they’re so heavy, which is ridiculous in itself.

But — so that’s the kind of thinking that went into this.  So now we’re filling up those big — those big, gaping wounds in this wall.  And it’s going to have a big effect.  And we’re adding to it very substantially in that area — the Rio Grande area.  And you know exactly the area I’m talking about, right?


THE PRESIDENT:  You’d never saw anything like that.  He said, “I’ve never seen this one before.”  A wall and big holes in it.

So a lot of good things are happening.

Would you like to say a few words?  Please.

SHERIFF MIMS:  Thank you, Mr. President.  Welcome to California.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  Appreciate it.

SHERIFF MIMS:  Margaret Mims, Sheriff of Fresno, California.


SHERIFF MIMS:  And thank you for your personal attention to the very important issue of border security.  You know, I talked to local law enforcement across our nation, and always the number-one issue is border security when we talk about our issues.

An uncontrolled, unsecure border directly affects our local communities.  And without a secure border, transnational gangs, human traffickers, and drug cartels will take advantage of any opportunity to exploit our current border crisis to further their criminal behavior in our local communities.

We’ve experienced this firsthand.  We have seen increased fentanyl traffickers and deaths in the Central Valley of California as a result of fentanyl overdoses.  We’ve also seen MS-13 gang members from El Salvador commit horrendous, vicious murders.  Our investigations into this gang resulted in connecting 18 homicides committed in three western states.

I want to commend all of our federal law enforcement partners from Homeland Security and especially the Border Patrol today because what you do here makes a difference in our local communities and the job that you do is under very difficult circumstances.

Mr. President, there is a border crisis.  And this crisis does not stay at the border.  It trickles into our local communities, stretching the resources of local agencies.  We must do everything we can to protect our communities from this threat.  Border security is more important now than ever.  Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  And you’re right about that.  It goes into Iowa and Idaho and New Hampshire and — you know, it’s not the border, it’s the border and then they come in and you end up in places that you would never think of — of the kind of crime that we see.  And it comes right through this border.  It starts right here.  That’s why, if we stop them at the southern border of Mexico — which, right now, Mexico is doing — that would be a fantastic thing.  And I think that’s happening.  I think it’s hap- — never been before.  Never — nobody’s ever seen anything like it.

All of a sudden, Mexico is doing terrifically.  They have to because you’ve all seen — and I don’t want to do this, but it would be a very profitable situation — we’re going to have to tariff the cars coming in from Mexico to the United States.  And if that doesn’t work, which it will, we’ll close the border.

Somebody said it will take a year.  No, it won’t take a year, it will take a day.  They wrote, you know, a lot of fake news — I said, “in a year.”

Well, the tariffs will work, number one.  But what will work — really work — is the closing of the border.  We hope we don’t have to do that, but I’ll do it because, ultimately, the security of our nation is the most important thing.  And we’re not even talking about the drugs, the massive amount of drugs that pours through.  And it would have a tremendous impact.

And we’re going to be working on that.  We’ve been working on that.  We’ve done a tremendous job on drugs coming into the country.  If you look at some of the numbers — we’re having a news conference next week at the White House on the impact that we’ve had — between opioid and all of the other problems we have — with drugs.  Different drugs than we had 10, 15, 20 years ago — much different — but also the drugs coming in through the border.  We’ve had a great impact.

Joseph, would you like to say a few words?  Looks like he’s in good shape, this guy.  (Laughter.)

WATCH COMMANDER REMENAR:  Well, Mr. President, good afternoon.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.

WATCH COMMANDER REMENAR: Thank you for coming here to Calexico Station.  We’re happy to have you.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.

WATCH COMMANDER REMENAR:  I’d like to talk to you a little bit about the border wall and what it’s done for us here and the activity levels.  And when I talk about activity levels, I’m not just referencing the illegal apprehensions or illegal entries; I’m also talking about things like assaults, uses of force, manpower deployments, and statistics related to OTMs — other-than-Mexicans — and also family units.

Now, immediately, as you said, we saw some incredible results from the border wall.  We saw a 75 percent decrease in the first quarter of Fiscal Year ’19 in illegal entries; 65 percent decrease in assaults and uses of force.  Prior to that — prior to the construction, we were number one in the nation in uses of force and number two in the nation in assaults.  So that’s been huge for us.

Prior to the construction of a wall, we had a — or, excuse me, after the construction of the wall, we had an 86 percent decrease in illegal aliens from the golden — or excuse me, the Northern Triangle countries: Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.

We also saw that we were able to redeploy — decrease 38 percent of our manpower in those areas and deploy them to other parts of the border so that they could be more effective out there.

We have apprehended 40 — or, excuse me, aliens from 40 different unique countries across the globe.

Now, in support of the border wall, when you move to other parts of the border where the fence is less effective — we’ll speak about downtown Calexico, for instance — we have an older, much less effective, picket-style fence.  Much shorter — 15 feet.  Luckily, we were able to bolster that infrastructure with concertina wire in early December.  The DOD helped with that.

THE PRESIDENT:  Very effective.

WATCH COMMANDER REMENAR:  Very effective.  Fifty-three percent decrease in illegal entries after the concertina wire was deployed.

We also had some unintended consequences.  We saw a 228 percent increase in fence breaches due to the inferiority of the fence in that area.  These fence breaches have cost us $317,000 so far to repair.  And they keep going.

Now, contrast that with the new wall, and we’ve only seen three breaches post-construction, which is — compare that, we have total — I said “228 percent increase,” but it’s been a total of 538 since the c-wire went up in December.

THE PRESIDENT:  Right.  Right.

WATCH COMMANDER REMENAR:  These breaches though, they don’t just represent the ease in which the aliens can enter the United States, they also represent a significant challenge and security and safety challenge to our Border Patrol agents on the lines.

We saw a 143 percent increase in the assaults against our agents in this area with the breaches.  A couple of months ago, an agent was responding to a breach where several illegal aliens had already pushed through the border.  He was struck in the back in the neck with a rock and required hospitalization.

Just last month, a female agent was monitoring cross-border traffic when an illegal alien — a self-admitted gang member — with a rusted lawn mower blade in his hand, threw it through the agent’s closed window.  Luckily, she saw the assailant out of the corner of her eye as he was coming at her, and she was able to actually put up her left hand and block that lawn mower blade from hitting her in the face, but she did sustain injuries to her arm.  So it’s a significant challenge to us.

I referenced the OTM and family unit statistics earlier.  The stretch of border now, where — specifically in the Calexico Station, where we see all of those aliens — just happens to be where we have the oldest, most outdated infrastructure in the sector.  It’s the old — what we call the “landings mat” style fence.  Ninety percent of all the OTMs and family units that enter in El Centro — excuse me, in Calexico Station, enter through that area.  It represents a 77 percent increase over the same time last year.

Mr. President, at the end of the day, walls work, infrastructure works.  We need more wall, we need more manpower, and we need more technology.  And the mix of those is incredibly important.  I can’t stress that enough.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, Joseph.  The people of Calexico have been incredible.  They’ve really rolled out the red carpet.  We appreciate it.

And, let me ask you a question — you or Brandon — or both, you could ask.  What do you do when we have military and we have the great Border Patrol and we have everybody here, but you have big open sections for miles and miles before we build a wall?  We’re building it now, but before — how do you stop these large numbers of people coming?

You’re not — look, other countries — what they do is very, very tough.  We can’t do what they do.  You understand that.  We can’t do what they do.  We don’t want to do what they do.  But how do you stop these large, sometimes massive groups of people from just pouring through?  What do you do?  Prior to the wall.  Once the wall is up, it’s easy.

WATCH COMMANDER REMENAR:  Well, you just grab as many as you can.  You arrest as many as you can.  And the ones that get away, get away.

MR. JUDD:  But there was nothing — there is nothing that you can do to physically keep them out of the country.  That’s what barriers are for.  They physically keep people out.

THE PRESIDENT:  Yeah.  And —

SECRETARY NIELSEN:  Groups, as you know, are going up.  It used to be that we’d see, maybe, one group a year of over a hundred.  We’ve already seen over a hundred groups of over a hundred people, which is a hundred reaching our border at one time that the Border Patrol goes and picks up.  And they’re being very, as usual, humble.  They also save thousands of people every year — many of whom have been left for dead by the smugglers and traffickers.  So they take all parts of their mission seriously, but we need to resource them so they can do them all.

THE PRESIDENT:  And so, I just speak to the folks in the first, second, third row.  They’re very special people.  And some in the fourth row I see.  The system is full.  Can’t take anymore.  Sorry, folks.  Can’t take anymore.

Asylum — you know, I look at some of these asylum people; they’re gang members.  They’re not afraid of anything.  They have lawyers greeting them.  They read what the lawyer tells them to read.  They’re gang members.  And they say, “I fear for my life.  I…”  They’re the ones that are causing fear for life.

It’s a scam.  Okay?  It’s a scam.  It’s a hoax.  I know about hoaxes.  I just went through a hoax. (Laughter.)

So, our system is full.  We’re not taking them anymore.  Okay?  We can’t do it.  You can’t do it.  You know, you can go up to a point, but we can’t do it anymore.


SPECIAL AGENT SHAW:  Sir, I appreciate it.  Thank you very much.  Thank you, Secretary Nielsen.  I appreciate it.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  Thank you very much.

SPECIAL AGENT SHAW:  It’s an honor to be here on behalf of ICE.  Like you said, America is facing an unprecedented crisis at the border.  The sheer volume of family units crossing the border has overwhelmed ICE’s limited resources and, as result, more than 126,000 people have been released into the U.S. since the end of last year.

The crisis is further amplified by the lack of space in our detention facilities, which is simply inadequate to handle the volume of illegal border crossings occurring daily.

Families are being released at the border with nothing more than a notice to appear in court, knowing full well that none of them ever will.

Meanwhile, ICE is exhausting its limited resources trying to increase bed space capacity for single adults.  At this point, we need more resources, including more officers and agents along the border and in the interior.  We need the funding and the authority to detain these aliens during their immigration proceedings.

In addition, as you know, current laws and court rulings — like the judicial interpretation of the Flores settlement agreement — have created pull factors that basically incentivize illegal migrants to cross our border by the thousands every day.  We must amend these outdated laws to deter the illegal immigration and prevent the effective operation of our lawful immigration system [sic].

It’s also — America is also facing a public safety crisis.  ICE has had to reassign hundreds of officers to the border, limiting our ability to arrest and remove criminal aliens, gang members, and public safety threats from our communities.  Just in fiscal year 2018, ICE arrested approximately 10,000 gang members, including 2,000 that were members of the MS-13 gang.  We also seized over a million pounds of narcotics, including 27,000 pounds of fentanyl.  Any reduction in these vital law enforcement efforts creates an unnecessary and unacceptable risk in our communities and for our citizens.

I appreciate your time, sir.  Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT:  You know, you mentioned fentanyl.  So, as you know, we’re working on a trade deal with China — that’s part of it.  They have agreed that they will not be — essentially, not sending it.  They’re going to criminalize it, which it’s not criminalized right now.  And they’re going to classify it in such a way that it’s very hard to send, make, and a lot of other things.  So we have some pretty good things coming on, because it comes — a lot of it, I guess most of it — comes in from China.  And President Xi, himself, has told me they’re going to do that.  We have an agreement and they have actually already started, so that’ll help you a lot.

SPECIAL AGENT SHAW:  Thank you, sir.

THE PRESIDENT:  Some of it’s coming right in here — right to Mexico, and then across.  So I think we’re going to take care of a lot of it.  Thank you very much.



SUPERVISOR GONZALEZ:  Good afternoon, Mr. President.  Welcome to Calexico.  What we are currently encountering along the border — the entire southwest border — is truly a border humanitarian issue.  The influx of people, especially from Central America, is completely overwhelming our agents and our agency.  The apprehension demographic has completely changed from what it was in the past.  In previous years, the majority of our arrests were from people from Mexico.  Now those arrests are from Central America, especially with the threat that we have now of organized caravans coming to our borders and bringing thousands of people.

Mr. President, now the majority of our agents are assigned to transportation duties, processing duties, and hospital watch.  Here at El Centro Sector, that is with a workforce that is approximately 300 agents below the allowed amount.  To put things into perspective, approximately 60 agents per day are assigned to these duties.  If you look over here, that can go to the preparation of the food, the caring of the unaccompanied children, and helping the family units.  Those are 60 agents that can and should be patrolling our border.  That affects our national security.


SUPERVISOR GONZALEZ:  As previously stated, El Centro Sector has seen an increase of 400 percent of family unit apprehensions.  That’s 400 percent.  We’ve seen an increase of 24 percent in the apprehensions of unaccompanied children.  What we’re seeing is minors being exploited and being implanted into these fake family units.  Transnational criminal organizations are coaching these families and even providing them with fraudulent documents to assist them with their claim.

Very recently, here in El Centro Sector, through an operation, we were able to rescue six minors that had been implanted into these fake family units.  What’s even more concerning is these children range from a 9-month-old infant to a 14-year-old.  Something that’s also — that we’re beginning to see are Mexico nationals claiming that they are from Central America in an attempt to exploit these loopholes and these old outdated immigration laws.

Mr. President, we are in daily communication with consulates from all over the world in an attempt to verify these family unit claims.  This task is nearly impossible because we don’t have the resources or just the logistics of what it takes to help us.  This is a complete crisis.  We need your assistance.  We need additional agents.  We need resources.  We are completely overwhelmed as agents and as an agency.  Thank you for your assistance.

THE PRESIDENT:  Okay.  Good.  And we’ll take care of it.  And I agree with you.  (Applause.)  (Inaudible.)

Good job.  We’ll take care of it.  Your turn.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN MELENDEZ:  I’m up.  (Laughter.)  Thank you, Mr. President.  First, I want to thank you for your leadership on border security because the impacts are definitely felt in California.  And the second thing I want to do is — on behalf of my constituents and all Californians, I want to thank all of the men and women here whose job it is to make sure that that border is secure.  And it’s made more and more difficult every single day by the majority party in California.

As you recall, Governor Brown — when he was in office, he reluctantly allowed National Guard troops to go down to the border to assist.

THE PRESIDENT:  That’s true.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN MELENDEZ:  And then, Governor Newsom got into office and he very quickly said, “No more National Guard troops down at the border.  We don’t want to assist.”  That comes from the fact that the Democrats in California decided that California would be a sanctuary state.  That if you were an illegal immigrant, and you want to come into the United States, California is the place that you want to come.  We are going to roll out the red carpet.

That causes a strain not only on our taxpayers, not only on law enforcement, not only on our schools — I mean, it is across the board; it is felt everywhere.

THE PRESIDENT:  And by the way, it makes it much tougher for everybody.


THE PRESIDENT:  I mean, they pour into these areas that — sanctuary cities are a disaster.


THE PRESIDENT:  They pour in.  And a lot of the places in California, they don’t want to be sanctuary cities.


THE PRESIDENT:  They’re actually asking not to be a sanctuary city, which is pretty incredible.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN MELENDEZ:  We had a lot of cities across California —

THE PRESIDENT:  Absolutely.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN MELENDEZ:  — a lot of people go to their city councils and demand that their city council state for the record that they would not become a sanctuary city — which, of course, didn’t work because the legislature said, “No, we’re going to become a sanctuary state.”

So we have the issue of drugs, which everyone here has spoken about.  I don’t need to add onto that.  I think we’re very clear on the problems with the drugs.  And we’re very clear on the financial burden that this places on this country and on this state.  But when everyone else in the world wants to say, “This is not a crisis,” what I would say to them is, Obama’s Secretary just — I think, last week — Jeh Johnson said he cannot imagine how these agents are managing the border and that it is a crisis.  So if Jeh Johnson can acknowledge it, I would hope that Democrats across this country could acknowledge it as well.

Because what is happening is Democrats are saying they want to take our border and change it from a border into a crosswalk, and we cannot have that.

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, Jeh Johnson was great.  He — very strong statement.  And Mr. Morgan too, who worked for President Obama, said, “This is a problem…” — has been, not just now.  I mean, this has been going on — I think, probably, the economy and a lot of other things have brought them up even more.  We’ve had some every bad court decisions.  The Flores decision is a disaster, I have to tell you.  Judge Flores, whoever you may be, that decision is a disaster for our country.  A disaster.  And we’re working on that.

But I just want to thank you.  Great job you’re doing.  We really appreciate it.  We’re going to get it taken care of.  It’s all going to come together.  Thank you.

Kevin, please.

COMMISSIONER MCALEENAN:  Really quickly, Mr. President, I just wanted to echo Secretary Nielsen and Chief Chavez: Thank you for coming down to see us to listen to our men and women, to talk about the progress we’re making.

And you’ll see that with the resources that you supported for the border, with General Semonite’s team’s assistance.  That wall is formidable.  It’s making an impact in the security of this sector, but we need to continue to work with Congress on improving the laws.

As you noted, we need partnership from Mexico on these flows in attacking the criminals that are exploiting these individuals and, really, the ones that are profiting from this entire cycle.

And I just want to thank my men and women who do a tremendous job here every day.  I’m very, very proud of their commitment, even though they’re facing extreme challenges, as you’ve heard.

THE PRESIDENT:  And they’re central casting.  I’ve never seen a group of people like this.  (Laughter.)  Everyone is in perfect shape.  And you’re proud of what you do, right?  You wouldn’t trade places with me for anything.  I know that, right?  (Laughter.)  You’re smart.  Don’t do it.  (Laughter.)  Don’t do it.

You know, Dave, you were mentioning before about, you know, people coming in and they come in and they come in.  You don’t have to take them in.  When your system is packed, when you cannot get another person in, when every one of your detention areas is teeming and you have to let people go into a country — they can’t take them.  They can’t take them.  We don’t have room.  We don’t have room.  That means you can’t take them.  You understand it.


THE PRESIDENT:  I don’t think anyone has ever expressed it like that, but I’m expressing it like that.  When it’s full, it’s full; you can’t take them.  They go back to Mexico and Mexico will bring them back to their country, okay?  Or if they’re Mexican, it’s a step easier, frankly.  And again, over the last four days, Mexico has been very nice.  Okay?

So just to — because you made a point.  It was very interesting.  But you can’t take them; you can’t take them.  There’s nothing you can do, okay?

I’d like to maybe end by having a man who’s really been a help, and that’s Kevin McCarthy.  You can speak on behalf of your great representatives that are here with you.  And maybe you could stand up and say a few words, Kevin, because you’ve been very much at the forefront of this fight.  And you love this state very much.

MINORITY LEADER MCCARTHY:  Well, thank you, Mr. President.  And on behalf of all these members of Congress, we want to thank you.  We know you’re on the frontline — (applause) — and we do not intend to for you to be doing the job they’re asking you to do today.  We think you should be on the border.  And we don’t think that’s right.

We realize that current law — the way asylum is applied, the way they catch and release — does not allow you to do your job correctly.  And I don’t believe it was the intent of what American intended when they passed these (inaudible).

We want to work — bipartisan or anyway possible — but we’ve got to solve this problem.  It is a crisis.  We know that you are being overloaded.  But I want you to know that we think it’s a top priority and we will work with this President and we will work with anybody who wants to solve this problem.

So thank you very much.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  I really appreciate that.  Great job.  (Applause.)  Thank you, Kevin.

And, you know, Kevin mentioned catch and release.  You catch them and you release them.  I’m saying this for them because you people all get it.  It’s the dumbest thing anyone has ever heard.  Maybe — I’m trying to figure out which is the worst — which is the dumbest?  Is it chain migration or is it visa lottery?  “Pick them out of the hat.  Let’s go.”  Do you think they’re giving us their finest?  I don’t think so.  Right?  I don’t think so.  It’s just — it’s crazy.

And we have to work with the Democrats and get it all — we have to — look, we need common sense in our country.  This is about common sense.  This is about anything other than common sense and that’s what we need.

Now, Gloria has asked me to recognize — and she will recognize three people that she thinks are just outstanding.  Please.

CHIEF PATROL AGENT CHAVEZ:  Thank you, Mr. President, for the opportunity.  There are three individuals in this audience today that I did not want to miss the opportunity to recognize in your presence.  So we have an agent, his name is Cesar Arroyo.  Cesar, if you could please stand.

Cesar Arroyo was off duty one night with his family.  It was his birthday.  He was headed to a local restaurant to celebrate that birthday.  Well, he witnessed an accident and the vehicle that was involved in the accident went airborne and fell into an irrigation canal.

In the vehicle was a mother and three children, and — to include an infant in the backseat.  Cesar immediately jumped out of his vehicle, ran across the street, and into the canal, and started working to save those individuals.  All four people out of that vehicle were pulled to safety to the canal bank while others got there to help him and assisted.

But it was his actions that truly reflect the character of what a Border Patrol agent is and I wanted to recognize those actions here today.  (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  That’s a great job.

CHIEF PATROL AGENT CHAVEZ:  There is another Border Patrol agent, his name is Carlos Lara.  And Carlos was on duty as well.  And Carlos was on duty as well.  And Carlos witnessed an individual jump in — cross the border illegally — jump into an irrigation canal.  And he immediately took action to also jump in and rescue that individual and pull him to safety.

So for Carlos’s actions as well, I wanted to recognize that, Mr. President, because that happens on a regular basis here.  But that day, he went through an extreme hardship because of the all things he had to do to get that person.  And eventually, he was able to bring him to safety as well.  So thank you, Carlos, for your actions as well.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, Carlos.  (Applause.)

CHIEF PATROL AGENT CHAVEZ:  And, Mr. President, last but not least, we have extraordinary mission support personnel — our civilian workforce — that works tirelessly behind the scenes to get the job done so that these Border Patrol agents are able to get to the frontline and get the work done.  From admin support secretaries, clerks; to timekeepers; to logistics directors; to logistics personnel; our mechanics that we couldn’t get, you know, a vehicle ready to go in the field without their help.

We have a young lady here today, her name is Nubia Avalos.  And Ms. Nubia is like our unsung hero behind the scenes who is constantly delivering excellence in every task that we assign to her.  This young lady here is the one in charge of your next 11 miles of 30-foot border wall —

THE PRESIDENT:  Very good.  Good.

CHIEF PATROL AGENT CHAVEZ: — that are going to start in June of 2019.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Very important.  Very important.  Thank you.

She’ll get it done.  On time, on budget — maybe under budget, right?  Under time, under budget.  That’s happened too, right?  Thank you very much.  Congratulations.

I just want to thank everybody.  We’re now going over to look at the new section of wall.  And we have a lot of it going up.

And again, General, I want to thank you for the job.  You’ve really got it together.  We have a lot of work under construction, but a lot more is coming in the very — very, very soon.  Money has been transferred.  Money has been approved.  And that wasn’t easy.

When you have people that don’t want to give you money, that’s not so easy.  But we know we need it.  We had no choice.

So I just want to thank you all.  And let’s go see the wall.  Thank you.  Thank you very much.

Q    Mr. President how does — how do you fix the asylum system?  You said you want to see asylum reform.  What do you specifically want to do about it?  Governor Newsom, today, saying that some of your ideas regarding asylum show a disregard for the Constitution.

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, Governor Newsom, honestly, is living in a different world.  And that’s a very dangerous world he’s living in.  And if he keeps living there, lots of problems for the people of California.  They don’t want that.

They want to be secure.  They want to be safe.  And not only asylum, but many other things.  Loopholes.  When you have asylum substation where rough, tough people with criminal records are asking for asylum, it doesn’t work that way.  So we have a full system.  Nothing we can do.

Thank you very much, everybody.  Let’s go.  (Applause.)


1:31 P.M. PDT


Live: President Donald J. Trump MAGA Rally, El Paso, TX – 2/11/2019

Earlier today, President Trump met with Homeland Security to talk about the wall. Today, a portion of the wall is started and will take up to nine months to complete – President Trump is concerned that Mexico had 40,000 killings so far this year. President Trump is working for border security – Democrats now do not want to give President Trump the money he needs to build the wall to secure America. Now, Democrats DO NOT WANT TO GIVE President Trump the Space necessary to Detain the captured murderers, human smugglers, criminals, drug dealers. President Trump said that here are now more human smugglers than at any time in the history of the world.



PLEASE PRAY FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP and our Border Police, Sheriffs, I.C.E. and all law enforcement officials.  Pray that Democrats’ hearts and minds are opened to this threat to our National Security.  Pray for Our President for Strength, Vision, Safety.

Democrats do not want a wall, they want these criminals released into our communities.  Democrats rejected the experts’ suggestions to protect and secure America that met with them.  3,000 U.S. Sheriffs stand against reducing the I.C.E. Agents that protect America and deal with the most vicious characters in the world.



THE PRESIDENT:  So, thank you very much.  I’m heading out to El Paso, Texas right now.  And we are going to do a job.  We’re going to continue to do what we’re doing.  I think we’ve made a lot of progress.

We’ve actually started a big, big portion of wall today in a very important location.  And it’s going to go up pretty quickly over the next nine months.  That whole area will be finished.  It’s fully funded.  Construction, which I know a lot about, has begun.  And it’s a much better wall, much stronger wall, and a much less expensive wall than we’ve been building.  And we’re going to have a lot of wall being built in the last — in the next period of time.

I’m with some of the great law enforcement people.  A lot of them are friends of mine.  I’ve known them for a long time, and they’ve been fantastic people.  Fantastic men and women.  And they know what we’re up against.  We’re up against people who want to allow criminals into our society.  Can you explain that one?

You know, most things you understand, but they want to allow criminals into our society.  Convicted felons — people of tremendous — like, big problems.

I just got this from Homeland Security.  And you look at this — thousands of people.  Dangerous drugs: 76,000 people.  Then you have traffic offenses.  That’s not so good, but that’s — every crime.  Assault: 63,000 people.  Larceny: 20,000 people.  Fraudulent activities: 12,000 people.  Burglaries: 12,000 people.  These, again, are just a different crime.  Robberies —

These are the people coming into our country that we are holding and we don’t want in our country.  And the Democrats want them to go into our country, that’s why they don’t want to give us what we call “the beds.”  It’s much more complicated than beds.  But we call them “the beds.”

Robberies: 5,991.  Sexual Assaults: 6,350.  Forgeries: 5,158.  Stolen property: 4,462.  These are people we’re talking about.  Kidnapping — these are people that kidnap people.  The Democrats want them to come into our society.  I don’t think so.  Anybody here who would like to have a lot of kidnappers left in our society?  I don’t think — I won’t bother waiting for you to raise your hand, right?  Kidnappings: 2,085.  Homicides — that means murder — murderers: 2,028.  I mean, it’s incredible.  Sexual offenses: 1,739.  Just came out two minutes ago.  Homeland Security.  The Department of Homeland Security.  I don’t know, maybe we’re in a different country than I know of.

And we’re going to El Paso.  We have a line that is very long already.  I mean, you see what’s going on.  And I understand our competitor has got a line too, but it’s a tiny, little line.  Of course, they’ll make it sound like they had more people than we do.  That’s not going to happen.

But we’re going there for a reason.  We’re going there to keep our country safe.  And we don’t want murderers and drug dealers and gang members, MS-13, and some of the worst people in the world coming into our country.

Now, Mexico has had the worst year they’ve ever had.  Almost 40,000 killings in Mexico this year.  One of the most unsafe places, unfortunately.  We need a wall.  And all of the other things are nice to have.  But without a wall, it’s not going to work.  We can have technology, we can have beautiful drones flying all over the place, but it doesn’t work without the wall.

Now, we need a wall.  We can call it anything.  We’ll call it barriers.  We’ll call it whatever they want.  But now, it turns out not only don’t they want to give us money for the wall, they don’t want to give us the space to detain murderers, criminals, drug dealers, human smugglers.  How bad is that?  Human smuggling.  People think of that as an ancient art.  There are more human smugglers right now — traffickers, they call them — than at any time in the history of our world, because of the Internet, unfortunately.

So, I’m heading out and we have a tremendous crowd.  Like, tremendous.  They have 75,000 people signed up.  I think the arena holds like 8,000 people, unfortunately.  I like the old days when I was allowed to make outdoors speeches.  It was a lot easier because you could have very big crowds, John.

But we have a tremendous crowd.  We have screens on the outside of the arena, so we’ll have a lot of people coming.  And again, if you look at your own newscasts, you’ll see people lined up for a long way.  A lot of people.

Sheriff, would you like to say something?

SHERIFF HODGSON:  Well, first of all, I thank you, Mr. President —

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.

SHERIFF HODGSON:  — for standing with law enforcement.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, Sheriff.

SHERIFF HODGSON:  You’ve given us our footing back.  We’re very concerned about the fact that we’re going to have people being released from prison that should be held.  And imagine, in any American city — and the President certainly hits this — that we would say we’re going to put a limit on the number of people that commit burglaries or rapes or what have you.  After you reach that limit, we’re going to release them back into the neighborhoods.  That’s what’s happening.  And the President is absolutely right to be standing in defense of this, in defense of the safety and security of the people of this nation.

And we appreciate it, Mr. President.  It’s happening in our communities and we appreciate the support.

THE PRESIDENT:  Horrible.  It’s horrible.  And not even — and not even thinkable.

Please, anybody?  Yes.

SHERIFF LOUDERBACK:  Sheriff Louderback.

THE PRESIDENT:  Yes.  Sheriff, please.

SHERIFF LOUDERBACK:  Mr. President, Vice President, members of the press: No one understands better than sheriffs in this country what’s happening to us with the criminality that’s coming across the border.

This is what we do.  This is where we’re engaged.  If you do anything to cut ICE funding, you devastate our communities.  If you make law enforcement — one of the biggest problems that we’ll have, if you were to — if ICE was to be — their funding cut, our communities would be at risk.

And this is something that we cannot permit to happen in this country.  We understand exactly what — these men and women in this country of law enforcement understand very well what’s going on in our border.  We’ve got to secure it.  Our hats are off to the President, to the Vice President, for ensuring the safety of American public.

Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, Sheriff, very much.  Appreciate your support.  We had a couple of things interestingly happen.  Everybody said, “Let us see the people on the border, the experts — Border Patrol, ICE, all of them, including law enforcement generally, including some of the people standing alongside of me — we want to see them.  We want to have a meeting with them.”  They had the meeting.  Everybody said, “You need the wall.  If you don’t have the wall, nothing is going work.”  They turned down that suggestion.  You heard that.  They turned it down.  They said, “We don’t want to hear that suggestion.”

So the people came up — in some cases, they made long journeys to come up and speak before the committee.  They said, “We need the wall.  It’s not going to work without the wall.  Technology is just a part of the wall.  Without a wall, it doesn’t work.”  And they rejected their expertise.  And these are the best people.  We brought our best people from all over the country, and they rejected the recommendations from the experts.

So that’s what we’re up against.  Does anybody have anything further to say?  I mean, all of you folks who are with us a thousand percent.

SHERIFF PAGE:  Mr. President —

THE PRESIDENT:  Yes, please.  Go ahead.

SHERIFF PAGE:  We got a letter here; I’m going to give it to you.  But this is a letter we presented to Congressman Mark Walker from North Carolina today to bring to our other congressman to let him know that the 3,000 sheriffs represented by the National Sheriffs’ Association opposed any reduction of those ICE beds.  Because if so, it would create a dangerous threat to our communities.

And what happens at the border doesn’t stay at the border.  It comes to our communities in Ohio, in Maryland, in North Carolina, in Georgia, Ohio, Utah, across this country.

So thank you for everything you’re doing.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  Yes, thank you, Sheriff.

Let me have that letter.  (Laughter.)

You know, I have to say, before leaving — and again, we’re going on the plane.  I guess a lot of you are coming on the plane with me to El Paso.  ICE is an incredible group of people.  They help all of you a lot with some of the most vicious characters you meet anywhere in the world.  No matter where you go, you’re not going to find worse than the MS-13 gangs and some of these gangs that came over from countries that we don’t even know about.  And they’re very disrespected by the Democrats, and we can’t let that happen.  They’re heroes.  And these people will tell you that too.  They’re heroes.  And these people are heroes — and heroines.

But I just want to say that the people working at ICE are brave, tough, strong people that love our country.  And they help the sheriffs and they help law enforcement, and they’ve done an incredible job, and I really appreciate your support.  And the Democrats want to cut — you know, think of it: They want to cut ICE.  They take out MS-13 and others by the thousands, and they want to cut ICE.  So we’re not going to let that happen.

Thank you all very much.  I appreciate it.  (Applause.)

Q    Mr. President, is there going to be a shutdown?

THE PRESIDENT:  We’ll see what happens.  It’s up to the Democrats.  It’s really up to the Democrats.


3:52 P.M. EST



Historic Fentanyl Bust at US-Mexico Border — Trump: “DEMOCRATS want to get off the subject because there’s No Way They Can Justify the Fact A Wall Works” – 2/2/2018

Nancy Pelosi is working hard to block the building of the border wall to protect U.S. Citizens.  It might be a good time to check Pelosi’s bank records to find out who is making deposits into her account.



Senate Democrats are experts at pitting Americans against each other (race, religion, politics, etc.). Fake news spews lies to half of America and they never question it. Our children are being taught common core that stresses out our children, confuses them and standards that were never developed by classroom teachers or school administrators. Our children cannot pray in the classroom, or pledge allegiance to OUR U.S. Flag.  America is being ripped apart from the inside out, and democrats don’t seem to mind the confusion this causes in our young children.

Half of America is not aware of the war we are facing with drugs, drug lords, human/child sex trafficking and murder, rape, torture.  The media are complicit in that they don’t tell half the country the truth about what is really happening at the border.  If they did, Americans would be in the streets demanding change.

Democrats hate the wall because they think Trump wants to build it to block immigration.  President Trump has said time and time again that LEGAL IMMIGRANTS ARE THE BACKBONE OF THIS COUNTRY.  Great people who follow the law, wait in turn, and then become one of us. Hard Working, law-abiding U.S. Citizens who love America and want to meld into our culture.  Great Americans! PRESIDENT TRUMP wants a wall to stop “ILLEGAL” IMMIGRATION.

The Constitution assigns the President a role as Chief Executive of the Federal Government and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces.  As Commander in Chief, the President has the authority to send troops into combat. President Trump has sent the military to build a wall and protect the U.S. southern borders.  Nancy Pelosi said she will not give President Trump even one dollar for the wall.  We now KNOW, clearly, that Nancy Pelosi answers to those who fill her pockets and is not upholding the Constitution.  Nancy Pelosi is not doing her job to protect the American people. President Trump is fulfilling his duty TO PROTECT AMERICA FROM FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC ENEMIES!

Trump wants the wall because BORDER SECURITY is begging for it.  They are at the front lines facing all kinds of attacks, bricks, stones, abuse, they help women give birth, children who are so sick and dehydrated, are dying, and they need to nurse them back to health or send them to the hospital.  Children who during their journey are being sexually abused, who are most likely terrified, brought here by human traffickers who pose as their parents and use children to get into America!


The Washington Times wrote:

Tuberculosis, flu, infections rampant as the number of sick migrants surge at border

Judicial Watch added:

“Crisis” of Seriously Ill Migrants Slams Border Patrol — TB, Pneumonia, Influenza, Parasites

Border Patrol faces drug mules who will do anything to get the drugs into America. They face illegals with Tuberculosis, Hepatitis, HIV (which are communicable diseases), chicken pox, measles, dengue, chikungunya, malaria, yellow fever, diphtheria, Ebola, some reports of polio. Yet, we have democrats who want to disband I.C.E. and border patrol agencies.


“This is an urgent humanitarian issue. My Administration is committed to leveraging every resource we have to confront this threat, to support the victims and survivors, and to hold traffickers accountable for their heinous crimes.” President Donald J. Trump

Here is something from Judicial Watch on the migrant caravan.    



President Trump has been to the border, has been all over America, meeting Americans who are victims of illegal crime.  Angel Moms whose families have lost loved ones to this crime that Nancy Pelosi denies exists.

The border wall is not racist, it is to block drugs from coming in, like fentanyl. This drug is killing approximately 300 Americans on a daily basis. We have a right to protect our borders and a right as a sovereign nation. This sovereignty is earned daily with the blood of our soldiers who go to battle so that we can live in peace in America.  Free!



Answer me this:  who is Pelosi to deny us, our families, our children, the right to be safe in our own Country?  Who is Pelosi working for? Not the U.S.

Nancy Pelosi, the Democrat Party do not represent or protect America!

The crisis at the border is real, but Pelosi won’t feel it because she lives behind walls, with guards who have automatic weapons.  She is safe and comfy, while we suffer. This is why President Trump is forced to do what he is about to do.




Live: From the White House – President Trump Addresses the Nation – January 8, 2019

Today, Tuesday, January 8, 2019 –

President Trump argues his case before the American people.  The democrats to not want to hear about the crisis at the U.S. – Mexico border.  They refuse to sit down and hear the numbers – the 60,000 per day trying to break our border – the gangs, the terrorists, the illegals.  President Trump has been dumped on….last three presidents have left him a mess.  President Trump represents “We The People” and he is working day and night to keep America safe.

President Trump is keeping track of and stopping human trafficking, drug trafficking coming through the border.  Today He signed a bill:

On Tuesday, January 8, 2019, the President signed into law:

H.R. 2200, the “Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act of 2018,” which reauthorizes and modifies the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000; and

S. 3191, the “Civil Rights Cold Case Records Collection Act of 2018,” which requires the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to establish a collection of civil rights cold cases related to certain Federal crimes arising out of events that occurred between 1940 and 1979; and establishes an independent board, known as the Civil Rights Cold Case Records Review Board, to facilitate the review, transmittal to NARA, and public disclosure of civil rights cold case records.


CRISIS AT THE BORDER: President Trump continues to stress the need to pass legislation that will address the security and humanitarian crises on our Southern Border.

  • The United States Southern Border is overwhelmed with illegal immigration, gang violence, crime, drugs, and human trafficking.
  • President Trump has requested a modest amount of funding to address these issues while Democrats continue to resist in the name of politics.
  • We cannot keep our country safe without adequate funding for Border security, including a physical barrier and increased funding for law enforcement.

BORDER SECURITY AND HUMANITARIAN PRIORITIES: Any government funding bill must address the security and humanitarian crises on our Southern Border.  The Administration has requested additional funds—relative to the FY2019 Homeland Security funding bill that passed the Senate Appropriations Committee (Committee)—to address these priorities.

  • $5.7 billion for construction of a steel barrier on the Southern Border to fund 234 miles of new physical barrier—an increase of $4.1 billion over the Committee bill.
  • $675 million to deter and detect narcotics, weapons, and other materials that pose a threat to the United States—an increase of $631 million over the Committee bill.
    • Will provide Non-Intrusive Inspection technology for all incoming vehicle lanes of traffic at U.S. Southwest Border Land Ports of Entry, as well as necessary canine and other support.
  • $211 million to hire 750 additional Border Patrol agents in order to keep our borders safe and secure—an increase of $100 million over the Committee bill.
  • $800 million to fund enhanced medical support, transportation, consumable supplies, and additional temporary facilities necessary to ensure the well-being of those taken into custody.

IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT: Congress must fund additional immigration detention beds and law enforcement personnel.

  • $571 million for 2,000 additional Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel to enforce immigration laws, combat gang violence, catch drug smugglers and stop human traffickers.
  • $4.2 billion to support 52,000 detention beds, personnel, alternatives to detention, and transportation to address the recent surge in illegal immigration across the Southern Border—an increase of $798 million over the Committee bill.
  • At least $563 million for 75 additional Immigration judges and support staff to reduce the backlog of pending immigration cases.
    • President Trump will work with Congress to facilitate expanded in-country processing of refugee claims.


On Monday, January 7, 2019, the President signed into law:

S. 2200, the “National Integrated Drought Information System Reauthorization Act of 2018,” which reauthorizes, through fiscal year 2023, and amends provisions of the Department of Commerce’s National Integrated Drought Information System Program; the National Weather Service; the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research; and the National Hypoxia and Harmful Algal Bloom Program; and

S. 2961, the “Victims of Child Abuse Act Reauthorization Act of 2018,” which authorizes appropriations for Justice Department grant programs that assist in responding to victims of child abuse and in improving the quality of criminal prosecution of child abuse cases; and establishes immunity for individuals who in good faith report suspected or known instances of child abuse or neglect.


Yesterday, Vice President Mike Pence and DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and OMB Deputy Director Russell Vought had a Press briefing on Border Security:

Vice President’s Ceremonial Office
2:16 P.M. EST

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Well, welcome to the Vice President’s office.  It’s my first time to welcome many of you here.  We had a very busy weekend around this table, and I thought this would be a good place for us to catch you all up on the status of our negotiations.  So, thank you all for coming over.You may have already heard that at the meeting of the leadership in the Situation Room on Friday, when the leaders and the President agreed to have our teams talk over the course of the weekend, the President asked me, Jared Kushner, and Secretary Nielsen to lead the administration’s efforts.  And we spent several hours on Saturday in this room, several hours on Sunday, and I wanted to walk you through the status of those negotiations.

We think it was a productive session on both days — I said so on Saturday; the President said so yesterday.  That does not mean to imply that we made progress in negotiations, but I think we gained a better understanding of the issues, the crisis on our southern border, and a better understanding of the priorities on both sides of the aisle to address that crisis.

So, let me — let me give you a quick thumbnail, then I’m going to ask Secretary Nielsen to walk you quickly through the latest information on our border crisis — the security and humanitarian crisis on the southern border.  I’ll walk you through the White House proposal that was presented at the request of the Democrat staff and leadership yesterday and then we’ll get to questions.  And I promise to be as brief as possible.

I think the two things we accomplished over the course of the weekend: First and foremost, on Saturday, we — I believe we made progress in establishing the fact that we do have a humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border.  The President will address that as he speaks to the nation tomorrow night at nine o’clock.  And we’re going to continue to make a concerted effort to inform members of Congress in both parties about what we are facing, particularly the precipitous rise in families and unaccompanied children over the last several months that is putting an extraordinary burden and presenting great challenges at our border, as well as the whole issue of the flow of narcotics and other challenges that come.

So that was what we believe we established on Saturday.  In fact, I was struck — at several moments in yesterday’s discussions, a senior Democrat staff actually used the phrase that they “did not dispute” our facts about the border, which I consider to be evidence of a productive discussion, because if we can agree on the facts first, that may always, in any situation, become a foundation for agreeing on solutions.

On Sunday, we responded to a request that we thought was reasonable: That the administration would put on paper a revised budget estimate for the proposals, including the President’s commitment to a physical barrier, to building a wall on the southern border — but also to attach specific numbers and policies to how the President intends or seeks to address the crisis at our southern border.

I’m very proud of the fact that our OMB team and Homeland Security burned the midnight oil Saturday and early Sunday.  And by our meeting, early afternoon — Sunday afternoon — we were able to present the document that I suspect most of you already have in hand.

And as I’ll articulate in just a few minutes, after Kirstjen speaks, what we did in this document was not only articulate, with a great degree of specificity, the President’s request for the budget, but the dollar amounts associated with it, but also we incorporated ideas that Democrat leaders and Democrat staff had brought to our attention over the course of meeting of principals and over the course of the staff meeting.  And we were able to clear with the President those things that the administration was prepared to support.  We added those to our request, and I’ll enumerate those for each one of you.

With that, I want to recognize Kirstjen.  I think we’ve handed out the panels, so we can move through this pretty quickly.  But we at least wanted to begin so that you know the information that we shared with the Democratic leadership staff and represents the best real-time information from our experts on the border about what’s happening.

SECRETARY NIELSEN:  Sure.  Well, thank you all for being here.  We really appreciate you taking the time.

So you do have the slides in front of you.  I’m not going to stop on every stat, because you can read them.  I just want to give you a quick, broader perspective.

So, just looking at the second slide here: As the Vice President underlined, I think what’s important here is there’s a real sense of urgency.  The crisis is getting worse.  So the issue is that the status quo funding, the status quo laws are not able to address the crisis that we’re seeing at the borders.

There’s a few ticks here on why it’s different.  I’ll get into them a little bit more, but it is a security and a humanitarian crisis.  In terms of the solutions we need, those were, as the Vice President described in the letter that you also have in front of us — in front of you — to also include the additional medical resources needed due to the vast increase in illness that we see coming across the border.

So, whenever I give these presentations, particularly to our friends from the south, from the Northern Triangle countries and Mexico, I always start with common cause.  So, where I think we are starting to coalesce is around the fact that we need to be able to protect the vulnerable populations.  We need to be able to protect border communities.  We need to be able to reduce illicit narcotic smuggling.  We need to facilitate legitimate trade and travel, which is part — also part and parcel of CBP’s mission.  And of course, doing all of that within the rubric of national security and homeland security, which is our main mandate.

So if you flip to the next slide, I’m not going to spend any time on this other than to say you all are very familiar with the administration’s commitment to reduce drugs.  There’s some facts on here.  There’s more that we can give you.  We are seeing increased drugs flow across our border.  What you’ll see in the letter in front of you is an attempt to — based on our conversations with the staff and leadership over the last week, to provide a number that would enable CBP to inspect 100 percent of vehicle traffic coming north for drugs.  So that is in that budget proposal.

The next slide, it starts to talk about the part of the security threat.  Some of these numbers you have seen before.  We’re happy to provide a little bit additional explanation on known or suspected terrorists and special interest aliens.  Those are very distinct terms, but there has been some confusion lately so I can focus on that.

What’s not on here that I just want to point out is visa security within the hemisphere is not the same as the United States.  We actually have very strong legislation, very strong authorities.  We are able, through targeting and other means, to begin to understand who’s coming into our country.  That’s not the same for countries in the south.  So part of this is simply — folks can travel to the south, and then they can drive or walk up.  And that’s a part of what we’re worried about.

On the far right, you’ll see $2.5 billion is what is estimated that goes to profit to the transnational criminal organizations.  This is important because TCO’s of course, are massive criminal enterprises.  They don’t just deal with smuggling.  They exploit children.  They deal with trafficking, they deal with drugs.  So this an additional concern:  They are not humanitarians.  This is the main point: Smugglers are not humanitarians.

When you get to the next slide, what we talk about here is part of what’s changed.  Part of what’s changed in the 2,000 migrants that we encounter and apprehend each day is that the vast majority of the flow, for the first time, is made up of unaccompanied children and families.

The reason that’s important is for two reasons: One, that’s the basis of the humanitarian crisis.  The system right now encourages and incentivizes families and UACs to be at the hands of smugglers and to take a very dangerous journey.  Once they get to the United States, our outdated laws do not enable us to process them quickly — to either grant them asylum and help them, should they meet the requirements under the statute, or to be able to detain and remove them if they don’t have any legal right to stay in the United States.

What’s not on here, and I’ll just — one second on it.  The Commissioner and I spent a lot of time working with the Northern Triangle countries.  We’ve been working with the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees to increase capacity for asylum throughout the region.  We’re working with the private sector with Mexico every day.  We’re working to stabilize the situation to the south, but this presentation is really about what we need Congress to do to be able to eliminate the pull factors that are encouraging and incentivizing the problem.

The next slide: What’s really different now is, in part, the illnesses that we see.  We have very serious illnesses that we’re encountering on the border.  We are unfortunately having to send about 50 migrants a day to the hospital.  Many times, they are discharged from the hospital.  Unfortunately, we have to send them back because they remain quite ill.  And unfortunately, as you know, we’ve had two children die as part of this journey.  It was the first two in 10 years.  So it’s very indicative of how dangerous this journey is, how sick they are.

The other thing that’s different is when the migrants come through and they don’t come through a port of entry, they’re coming through very remote parts of the border.  So not only is that dangerous for them — walking through a desert, for example — but it’s more difficult for CBP to apprehend them because we have a very long border.  So CBP is doing a tremendous job to save migrants.  They’ve saved over 4,000 last year who found themselves in distress.  But the numbers continue because of the way in which they are journeying.

The last thing I’ll focus on: We’ve talked a bit about a rise in fake families.  We do unfortunately see adults that take children who are not their own, present themselves at the border under the belief that if they present as a family, they can gain entrance into the United States and stay.  So it’s an additional way that unfortunately the system is putting children at risk.

So the three main challenges: We’ve got detention challenges, adjudication challenges, removal challenges.  The one that I’ll focus on that you all have heard from us before is the 1 in a 10 asylum claims are eventually granted asylum.  The reason that’s difficult is because that disables us from helping those who actually need asylum.  The system is bogged down.  There are a lot of others who are coming for other reasons but do claim asylum.  And we have to process them.  So, you’ve heard about the backlog.  What that means are, for those who really need asylum, they’re now in a very long line mixed in with 9 out of 10 who will not be granted asylum at the end of the day by a judge.

So the last slide, this is what we have presented.  In addition to medical resources, which you’ll see in the letter, is our suggestion and a way to address this crisis.  The bottom line is:  This is not a status quo situation.  Status quo solutions from Congress will not work.  We cannot do more with less.

And so, with that, I know we’ll turn it over.  I’m happy to provide any additional information.

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Thanks.  And whatever questions you all have for the Secretary, we’ll get to that.

Also, these —


THE VICE PRESIDENT:  — charts.  I want to send you out with these as well.  I don’t think you have them in front of you, but — are these okay to release?

MR. AGEN: Yes, sir.

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Great.  There’s — I think there’s some very helpful charts that give you some idea of the trajectory of the various categories that we’re facing in terms of apprehensions and CBP enforcement actions on the southern border and it gives you an idea of the context.

Okay.  So, again, we’ll come back to questions on that.  Let me shift to what we’ve presented to the Democrat senior staff this weekend and, frankly, what is part and parcel also among the principals, and now has been delivered to all the relevant committee leadership.

Our position is very simply this: There is a humanitarian and national security crisis at the southern border.  The President has been negotiating to open the government and to address the border crisis with resources and reforms.  But we’ll also touch briefly on the fact the President has directed OMB to take steps to mitigate the impact of the shutdown on everyday Americans, wherever possible.  And we’ll unpack that for you before we break off.

But first, let me walk you through this letter.  Maybe if you just grab it, I can breeze through it pretty quickly.  As I said on Saturday, sitting about where you’re sitting, one of the leading staff for the Speaker of the House said, you know, “We hear talk, we hear ideas, but we don’t — you know, we haven’t seen any estimates or a revised budget.”  We frankly said, “That’s fair.”  So we worked overnight and put together a revised budget estimate for them and I’m going to walk you through it.

First and foremost, the top paragraph.  The baseline here is the Senate Fiscal 2019 bill.  Okay?  These are the changes in various categories of that bill, and represent the priorities the President wants to see addressed going forward.

First is, on the subject of border wall and CBP, the President requests $5.7 billion for construction of a steel barrier for the southwest border.  We made it very clear — now in writing, also in our meetings — that the President is prepared to construct a barrier on the southern border in a manner consistent with the existing language in the Senate appropriations bill, a language I believe that 11 Democrats voted for.

And the President also, when he got on the helicopter — all of you were there yesterday.  You heard him articulate personally what we told them in the meeting — that he would support a steel barrier for the southwest border.  This would require an increase of $4.1 billion over the 2019 funding level.

And we also included, by reference here, the CBP’s border security improvement plan, some of which is available publicly because there’s law enforcement elements of it.  Some of it is not available publicly, but if you have interest in getting more information about that plan, it’s literally been on the books for months.  Members of Congress have had access to it.


THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  Various iterations have been on the books for years.  But we were able to say, with a high degree of specificity, here’s the amount of money that we want, here’s what we want to do with it, and there’s a plan in place for implementing it.

Secondly, we called for $563 million for 75 additional immigration judges.  That is the level of funding in the Senate FY2019 bill, but we reiterated that’s our position.

Thirdly, 750 additional Border Patrol agents.  That’s $100 million over the fiscal ’19 funding level in the Senate version of the bill.  Immigrations Customs Enforcement — we’re requesting $571 million for 2,000 additional agents.  This would actually represent an increase of $571 million over the fiscal 2019 funding level.  And it addresses the whole issue of gang violence, smuggling, human trafficking, the spread of drugs in our community, and the personnel level that each of these are derived from what our experts and career personnel at DHS have told us will give us the opportunity to meet the need to protect the interests of the American people.

Next page.  Detention beds at ICE — we’re requesting $4.2 billion to support 52,000 detention beds.  This is a $798 million increase over the funding level in the Senate bill.  And again, it’s informed by the fact that we have border — illegal border crossings have now increased to 2,000 per day.  And, as you just heard the Secretary describe, it’s predominately — the largest percentage of that is families, unaccompanied children.  And so detention beds are a critical need.

You could literally draw a line across the page at that point, because the rest of these items are what I would characterize as “consensus” items.  They were derived from last week’s meeting among the principals — issues that were raised by Democrat leadership to the President, and that the President has processed and now given us the authority to endorse.

First and foremost, in the category of humanitarian needs, we have vetted $800 million to address enhanced medical support, transportation, and consumable supplies.  In the wake of the tragic loss of two children, we also — it was reported to me that we also had an American who lost her life returning from south of the border with one of her children.  So we have increased medical needs and humanitarian support.  We’re prepared to support that.

Next category would be counter-narcotics and weapons technology.  This was an issue that a member of the Democrat leadership in the Senate brought up in the principals meeting, and the President readily directed us to investigate it.  It’s the deployment of detection technology at our ports of entry.  And it’s a — I think the initial request was about $44 billion.  In the discussion among the principals and then in vetting since, we believe that increasing that by $631 million over the ’19 level would meet the need of providing the kind of non-intrusive (inaudible) technology to allow us to get at — and not just narcotics, but also, most especially, about human trafficking issues at the border.

The next paragraph — non-indented paragraph — has to do with another proposal that was brought to us by the Democratic leadership and that, frankly, I’ve heard about in my meetings with leaders of Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras.  And that is, they made a request that we consider allowing children to apply for asylum at our embassy in those countries, as opposed to only being able to apply for asylum by making the long and dangerous journey north.

The President and the Secretary of State and I met over that issue, and the President has endorsed that reform that obviously would require a statutory change, along with reallocation of State Department resources in the State Department appropriations bill, but it’s one that we’re prepared to support.  And we also believe that we should match that with one other statutory change that the Secretary just alluded to, which is unaccompanied children who apply for asylum, who, after due process, are determined not to be eligible for asylum, we can return them to their families in Mexico.  Right now, the law allows us to do that.  We cannot return them, even if their families request them to be — we cannot return them to their families in Honduras, El Salvador, or Guatemala.

So we think — what the Secretary described, is that “pull-factor.”  We think that — by allowing children to apply for asylum in those countries and by making it clear that those that are not eligible for asylum will be returned to the countries, we think that we will take part of the incentive that human traffickers use to take thousands of dollars cash to take children on a long and dangerous journey, oftentimes facing physical and sexual abuse along the way north, to attempt to come into our country to take advantage of loopholes in our laws.

So, this — what I want to be very clear with you is the document in front of you is a result of the discussions that have taken place between the President and the Democratic leadership as well as the productive discussions that took place over the course of this weekend.  And again, you know, I trust that it is evidence that we’ve been negotiating.

Now, for our part, as I said, our position is there is a crisis on our southern border.  We’ve been negotiating to open the government and address that border crisis.  We’re also taking steps to mitigate the impact of the shutdown.  For their part, I will tell you that, from the outset of our first meeting over the weekend, which was professional and direct, the senior staff for the Democratic leadership and the House and Senate simply informed us that there would be no negotiation until the government — federal government was open.  Fortunately, they went ahead and had conversations with us, but their position has been very clear that they refuse to negotiate until the federal government opens.

And now, at this point as well, while a number of their senior staff yesterday did say that they did not dispute the facts that we presented about the crisis on the southern border, you know, what we would welcome and I think the President is going to take a message to the nation tomorrow, is that Republicans and Democrats would come together around the recognition of a humanitarian and security crisis on our southern border and the need to take action.

And, you know, the question that I have is: When are the Democrats going to start negotiating?  We made the position of the President very clear, not only in terms of what our proposal is; we’ve integrated some of their proposals.  We also made it very clear, on the President’s behalf that the President is not going to reopen the federal government with a promise that negotiations would begin thereafter.

We really believe that we can address these issues now.  We stand ready to sit down with the Democratic leadership.  The President has not only made plans to address the nation tomorrow night, but he’s extended an invitation to Democratic leadership to come back to the White House to give us their response to the President’s written proposal.  And we hope they take us up on it.  We think the American people deserve nothing less.

We recognize the hardship the shutdown can place on some 800,000 federal workers.  We’ve taken some steps.  I’m going to ask Russ to conclude here by giving you some facts about how we’ve taken steps at the President’s direction to mitigate the impact of the shutdown.

But I want to — I’ll close you with this: That what I said at the end of the meeting yesterday is that this is not about politics.  I mean, when you look at these facts, and I think they’ve got the charts here somewhere that they’re going to pass around — I think even the Washington Post, over this weekend, said that we have a “bona fide emergency” at our southern border; that was their term.  And then they lamented the fact that there was little urgency in the Congress to address it.

So what I want to tell is what’s driving the President and his determination to stand firm and his commitment — not just to build a wall, but to address this crisis with the kind of resources and reforms that will end this crisis at our southern border — that it’s being driven by the facts.  It’s being — it’s not being driven by politics or promises made.

I actually said to the Democrat staff, one of my least favorite terms is the one that shows up the media lot — it’s the word “base.”  I don’t like the word “base.”  It’s your base, our base.  It’s not — this isn’t about base; this about the American people.  This is about human trafficking.  This is about a humanitarian crisis.  This is about the flow of illegal drugs, illegal immigration, and the President’s determination to address that issue with action and with resources.

And what I want to leave you with, with this document, is: You should see this document and this proposal as evidence that we’re listening.  We’re incorporating the ideas of the Democrats.  We just need the Democrats to start negotiating.

But, Russ, can you give us a quick — make it really quick, because I know they’ve got lots of questions and time is short.  A quick overview of mitigation efforts, with regards specifically to the shutdown.

DEPUTY DIRECTOR VOUGHT:  Our mission from the President has been to make this shutdown as painless as possible, consistent with the law.  So we have built on past efforts within this administration not to have the shutdown be used to weaponize against the American people.

This particular shutdown, we have made sure that the Coast Guard has gotten paid.  They were not going to get paid.  The Coast Guard got their last paycheck.  We made sure that flood insurance policies — flood insurance, it was heading down a path where no new flood insurance policies would be done.  We ensured that was going to happen.  Park Service — Park Service, not only were they kept open, which is consistent with shutdowns under this administration, but, as of this weekend, we’re making sure that trash can be collected, that waste — the restrooms can be cleaned out, et cetera.

Fish and Wildlife Service refuges will be kept open for the next 30 days.  And then, specifically, I know you all have question on tax refunds.  Tax refunds will go out.  They will not be non-excepted activities.  That’s something that we will be sending out guidance on that we’re fixing from past administrations.

So just to get back to what the Vice President was saying, we have been trying to make this as painless as possible, consistent with the law.

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, Russ.  We can just go to questions please.  Jon.

Q    Mr. Vice President, what do you say to Democrats that say that you’re constantly being undermined by the President?  So you put forth the idea of a $2.5 billion number for the wall, and the President undermined you.  And going back even further, you signaled to Senate Republicans that the President would support the bill that passed the Senate.  So what do you say to them?  And is the President going to declare a national emergency, and try to do this himself and bypass Congress if he can’t get these negotiations going anywhere?

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Well, number one, thanks for asking the first question; I’ve been dying to answer it.  (Laughter.)  I really have.

First off, with regard to the CR, senators who were in the room know that what I said that day was the President was very disappointed there was not wall funding.  There was no commitment to him signing the bill.  I was pressed repeatedly as to whether he was supporting the bill.  I said, “The President is very disappointed.  He said he’s still thinking about it.  He said he has an open mind, but that there is no commitment to sign the bill.”  And my colleagues in the Senate know that’s the fact.

The second piece: I can neither nor deny the numbers that have floated around about what was offered on the first day of the shutdown.  But I can assure you, it came from the President of the United States.  And Senator Schumer knows that.  They were provided with documentation of that, that day, to Senator Leahy’s office and to Senator Shelby’s office.

We made an offer — a very good-faith offer — that was an effort to avoid the shutdown in its entirety.  It came directly from the President of the United States after consultation with House Republicans, House conservatives, with Senate Republicans — and everyone involved knows that.

We were told on that day, when we made an inquiry that we were not to expect a counteroffer from the Democrats before Christmas and so we could let staff go.  When I came to work the day after Christmas, we were ready to go to work; if there was a counteroffer, it would be Thursday, late afternoon, after Christmas that we were informed there would not be a counteroffer.

So, since then, we’ve continued to work, we’ve continued to engage, and we are where we are.  But everybody involved in the process knows what the facts are.  And the Democrats had documentation of the offer that was made on the Saturday before Christmas.

But, look, where we are today is what we’ve presented this weekend.  And I just — if you leave here with no other conclusion of — “What did Pence invite us over to that very nautical office of his to communicate?” — it would be that the President’s position is: There is a crisis at the southern border, and Democrats are refusing to negotiate.

Q    And the national emergency?

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  On the national emergency, let me say, the President said in front of all you, just the other day, that it’s something that he’s considering looking into.  He’s made no decision on that.

I will say that one of the ways that Congress can find the resources for this is through an emergency supplement.  And we did indicate to them, over the course of this weekend, that we would be willing to work with them on forming an emergency supplemental for some of the resources — the additional resources we’re asking for.


Q    Thank you, Mr. Vice President.  Hallie, from NBC.  So, two questions for you —

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Excuse me, Hallie.

Q    You’re good.  National emergency — is it appropriate, then, if the President hasn’t decided on a national emergency, to use that as a threat now, as a bargaining chip to try to get this wall?  And then I have another question for you on what Russ was talking about.

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Yeah.  Yeah.  Well, I think he was answering a question in the Rose Garden, Hallie.  That he was asked if he was considering it; he said he is considering it.

Look, if you’d have been around this table over this weekend, you’d have been — I think you would have been impressed by the professional and substantive and respectful nature of the conversation.  There’s no threats going on here.  People are stating their positions clearly and plainly.
And, you know, when I sat down with the senior staff yesterday from the House and Senate for the Democrats, I looked at them and I said, “Look, let’s all start with the recognition: I know you have no authority whatsoever to negotiate.  So what I want to do is I want to tell you exactly where we’re at.  And, in our proposal, I want to show you that we’ve been listening to what your leaders have been suggesting, and we’ve incorporated that into some of our proposals here.”

But my purpose was to give them something that they could take back.  Now we’ve invited the leadership to come back to the White House and hopefully respond to this proposal.

Q    On some of the details you laid out about how you’re relieving the pain for some of these federal workers, right now it seems like you’re pretty adamant on your position and Dems are pretty adamant on theirs.  If nothing changes, you have a lot of people who won’t be getting paychecks no matter what OMB does in the long run, right?  At what point does that pain outweigh the President’s desire for this border barrier?  At what point does that kick in to overrule this desire for a border — steel fence, if you will?

And then, just to clarify, is the President going to declare a national emergency or not?  I couldn’t tell from that that prior —

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Oh, I just said — I said I think he said the other day in the Rose Garden that it’s something that he has looked at and is examining.  He’s made no decision.  He’s made no decision.

Look, I hope we don’t find out the answer to your first question.  We can work this out.  I actually had a leading member — a Democrat member of the Senate — grab me by the elbow back the other day when I was doing swearing-in ceremonies for folks, which was a great honor for me.  He grabbed me by the elbow and said, “You know, we could work this thing out in three hours.”  I mean, that’s the truth of it.

I mean, most of the work has been done on the Senate appropriations bill.  One of the things that we heard from the senior staff was we need another 30 days of a CR on the DHS because it’s so difficult to rewrite these — most of the work has been done.

Some of you people have been following the congressional — some of you worked on Capitol Hill before.  I remember you, right?  And the simple fact is: If we can sit down and agree that there is a crisis, then plugging in the numbers into this process and reaching an agreement will not take very long.  And the American people deserve to know that.  But the Democrats have got to start negotiating.


Q    Thanks, Mr. Vice President, this is Jordan Fabian from the Hill.

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Jordan, thanks.  Thanks for saying your name.  I don’t get to (inaudible.)

Q    Absolutely.  (Laughter.)  So Senators Tillis and Collins and Gardner have said they’re fine basically moving forward, without wall funding, to reopen to the government.  So how concerned are you, here at the White House, about cracks starting to form among Republicans in Congress?  And what are you doing to address that?

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Well, I mean, we’ve been in touch with those members and others.  I’ll be on Capitol Hill tomorrow before the President’s national address, briefing House members with the Secretary.  We’re going to be on Capitol Hill, meeting with the Senate on Wednesday, briefing them on the scope of this crisis.

And I think what we hear from Republican members and, frankly, quietly from many Democrat members is that when they see the scope of this crisis, when they see the facts presented to them, that they understand why the President is so adamant about doing something meaningful to advance border security.

And so we’ll just continue educating members.  I will tell you that, you know, I heard that a number of House members and — I don’t think — I don’t remember which show it was on, but there were several Democrat House members that were cited as having talked about their desire to see some sort of a negotiated settlement that would include funding for a wall.

But, look, that’s — you know, we’d like to see Congress work its will on this.  And I think there might be a lot more support on both sides of the aisle for a negotiated agreement that addresses the President’s determination to construct a steel barrier and also advances the other priorities for border security that Democrats (inaudible.)

Q    Can you just say when that briefing with House members is happening?  Is that before the speech tomorrow?

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  It’s supposed to be before the speech.  Is it confirmed?

MR. AGEN:  Before the speech, tomorrow night.

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Yeah, it will be before the speech.  We’ll give you — yes, please.
Q    I have two quick questions.  The first is, you talked about —

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  And you can ask anything to Kirstjen or Jared, too.  He’s here.  (Laughter.)

Q    Thank you.  You said that the facts matter and that you need to, in some ways, really agree on the facts.


Q    Part of what the White House has been saying is that there are a number of people who have crossed the southern border and that are potential terrorists.  The reporting I’ve done shows that a lot of those people were apprehended at airports, and that drugs often come in smuggled through vehicles through legal ports of entry.

Can you walk through why you think a wall — a physical wall — is so essential to — I guess, I know that there’s a list of things, but I feel like there are so many experts and immigration people that say there are so many other ways and so many other things we could use resources for other than a wall.

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Right.  Well, I hope you can see there’s more than wall in this letter.

Q    Yes.

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  A lot more.  And so that would be my first response.
Secondly — this is an issue that came up over the weekend.  So the Secretary has got some of her expert people here.  You want to address —

SECRETARY NIELSEN:  Yeah, sure.  I mean, I —

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  — the known or suspected terrorists number.


THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Because we can — we can give them that.

SECRETARY NIELSEN:  And we’re going to — we recognize there’s been some confusion on these terms over the weekend, so we’re putting out a factsheet later today so we can get you as many definitions as you want.

But essentially there’s known or suspected terrorists that DHS prevents from traveling or entering this country — 10 known or suspected terrorists a day.  Most of those are through airports, as you suggested.  Some of them are through land ports of entry, but most of them are through airports.

(Inaudible), a totally different term, is special interests aliens.  Three thousand of those were encountered —

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  What was that number?

SECRETARY NIELSEN:  Three thousand.

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Three thousand.

SECRETARY NIELSEN:  — were encountered on the southern border last year.  Special interest aliens are those who have travel patterns of concern.  So what that means is they’re traveling under false passports; they are traveling circuitously; they’re traveling illegally.  So they’re cause for concern for us, and we want to give them additional screening.  So we had 3,000 of those.

Criminals, you mentioned — 17,000 convicted criminals were stopped at the southern border last year.

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  People with previous criminal records.

SECRETARY NIELSEN:  Exactly, I was just going to say.  Important point there, is that.  They’re previously convicted, not the illegal entry itself.  They’re previously convicted of a crime.

But I think what’s important and what the President and Vice President have made clear is that we do have a duty to understand who’s coming into our country, any way in which they come.  What we can say is that we absolutely have had cases of terrorists crossing the southern border.  The number itself is sensitive, and that’s why it’s difficult.  It’s classified for obvious reasons — the ongoing investigations.

But what we can also say — there are thousands, literally thousands, of known or suspected terrorists traveling throughout the hemisphere.

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  In our hemisphere.

SECRETARY NIELSEN:  And so if we don’t have a secured border, it makes it that much more difficult to know who is coming in.

The other point that the Commissioner has repeatedly raised in testimony is, if we lock down the ports of entry, which we’re continuing to try to do, unfortunately what that does for nefarious populations, it encourages them to go around the ports of entry and actually enter illegally.

So it’s not an “either/or”; it’s an “and.”  We need secure ports of entry and secure, as much as possible, between the ports of entry.


Q    And then I want to ask about the real pain of people.  I’ve talked to so many people who are postponing surgeries, who are not getting paychecks, who are worried about HUD and whether or not they can even move into their apartments.

The President, at one point, and Sarah Sanders said, on live television, we’ll find this $5 billion somewhere else if we have to for this wall funding.  At what point does that pain — as Hallie said, at what point does that pain make the White House go back to that earlier stance where it says, okay, we’ll find this $5 billion somewhere else and not shut down the government or keep the shutdown going?
THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Well, as I said, I hope we don’t ever find out.  Look, I honestly believe that Democrats believe in border security.  I heard it again and again and again all weekend.  I heard it from the leaders when we met twice last week in the Situation Room.  They said they’re for border security.

We were able, to their senior staff, to present the facts about a precipitous rise in illegal immigration at our southern border, particularly families and unaccompanied children.  You hear about the statistics of criminality; you hear about narcotics and the like, and the magnet for human trafficking.  And there’s no reason in the world why we shouldn’t be able to come together as Americans and address this issue.

Q    And what’s your message for people?

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  But make no mistake about it, I mean, we all — as you can see, the President — you know, I have some memory of prior administrations — we’re trying to mitigate the impact of the shutdown on everyday Americans instead of the opposite, which I’ve actually seen in the past.  And we’ll continue to do that in a manner consistent with the law.
But beyond the 800,000 federal workers — all the good Americans and great families that we’re very sensitive to — is the tens of millions of Americans who are deeply troubled about the widening crisis on our southern border, and know that it’s time for the Congress to act, and the President is determined to fight for them.


Q    One of your colleagues says that the President’s private view has always been that the American people — regular Americans aren’t that bothered by government shutdowns; they care much more about having a wall.  Is that view shifting as we get closer to real effects on federal housing, food stamps, potentially tax returns?  That’s question one.

And question two: This was all foreseeable — the crisis, needing money for a wall, Mexico refusing to pay.  Why didn’t the President request $5.7 billion in his FY19 budget?

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Well, first, look, you know, the President — his (inaudible) is protect the American people and promote the prosperity of this country.  He takes those very seriously.  And it’s not a matter of shifting priorities at all; the President is absolutely determined to continue to stand firm, not just for funding for a steel barrier on the southern border but for all of the other resources and reforms that we believe will have a significant impact on advancing the safety and security of the American people.

Q    Sorry, (inaudible) shifting view that the American people don’t really care about shutdowns.  Is that changing given that you’re getting close to real effects?

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Well, I don’t know that I’ve ever —

Q    Heard him say that.

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Heard him say that.

Q    Okay, great.

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  I don’t know that I’ve ever heard him say that.  You can ask him next time you see him.  I know the President — look, as the President said, you know, he’s certainly — you know, he certainly appreciates the challenges that federal workers are facing in the midst of a federal government shutdown, even a partial government shutdown.  But his primary concern here is for the safety and security of the American people and for achieving real border security.

And the simple fact is: When you look at these facts, this ought to be one of those moments where we can set politics aside and find common ground.

And let me point again, the President — we put in writing and the President said it, out with you all on the South Lawn, a steel barrier for the southwest border.

Now, when I was in the Situation Room on Friday — some of you did some good reporting on it — that was news to some of the Democrat leaders in the room.  That it had been talked about by some others that there might be a — that the President might have — be willing to move away from a concrete barrier on the southern border.  And he made it very clear, in the meeting, that he was open to that.  We’ve now put that formally in our proposal; he said that publically yesterday.

So what you see the President doing is looking for common grounds while standing firm on our commitment for border security and building a wall.  What we need is for the Democrats to start negotiating.

Now, with regard to your second question, which I think it a really good question — why didn’t we request the $5.7 billion — I’m going to tell the budget guy, my short answer is things have gotten a lot worse.


THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Things have gotten a lot worse.

SECRETARY NIELSEN:  I mean, the crisis — the charts will help you see that.  But the difference is — I mean, we had 60,000 children sent here unaccompanied to the border last year.  We have 30 percent of women who are raped on this journey, and that’s actually not our stat; that’s Doctors Without Borders.  We have 70 percent of males — we have 7 out of 10 that are victims of violence.  The humanitarian crisis has just skyrocketed since February.

So, as you know, the problem with the budget cycle is it’s such a long lead time.

Q    But this money for a wall.  You were always going to need to build the wall.

SECRETARY NIELSEN:  But what the Vice President is trying to say is, it’s not just that, but the crisis is skyrocketing so the need for a holistic security approach must be the only answer.  Status — it’s not the status quo, so we can’t have the status quo budget request.

But, Russ, I’m sorry.


THE VICE PRESIDENT:  There’s one more too that — and correct me if I’m wrong on this, Madam Secretary, when we made our budget submission, the first of last year, the capacity to deploy those resources and construct, we were told, was roughly at the $1.6 billion level annually.

SECRETARY NIELSEN:  That’s right.  We have expanded.

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  They’ve expanded that capacity dramatically, and so we believe that we can deploy the resources and engage in construction much more readily.

Did you have anything to add?

DEPUTY DIRECTOR VOUGHT:  Just that we know that people are watching very closely how fast we spend the money.  And so we don’t want to request money for things that we can’t spend the money.  Our capacity to spend has accelerated, and as a result we have this new request.

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  I’m going to go to April.  But let me also say, when we’re talking about federal workers — and, you know, we have great respect for everybody that follows the calling into public service, whether it’s elected office or whether it’s serving government at every level.  But that’s also why the Democrats need to start negotiating.

I mean, literally, I just walked you through it.  Fortunately, Jon gave me the opportunity to clarify the facts, right?  I mean, the day the shutdown happened, there was an offer on the table from the President of the United States that would have ended the shutdown.

And a week — roughly a week later, the Democrats told us, “No counteroffer.  No negotiation.”  We were here through the whole Christmas break.  There was no engagement.  The President brought the Democratic leadership here twice last week in the Situation Room.  We sat down.  We felt like, as Speaker Pelosi said, after the second meeting that there was increased understanding and there was progress.  I agree; there was progress.

They tasked the senior staff for us to meet with them.  And, as I said to you, the proposal we put forward yesterday, we think, represents our effort to incorporate their proposals into things that we’re prepared to support.

But the Democrats have got to start negotiating for the sake of border security, national security, and for the sake of those 800,000 federal workers.

April, and then they’re telling me I’ve got time for one more.

Q    Mr. Vice President, this is for you and those others at the table, if they choose to respond.  Friday, federal employees get their paychecks — they’re supposed to get their paychecks.  Do you have hope that there’s a possibility that things could be worked out?  Because I’m told that the 11th hour is Thursday — that you can work things out up until Thursday, and there could be a mad scramble to make sure that payroll is done for these federal employees.  Do you have hope that there could be a fix before Friday?

And also, when you talk about these terrorists and supposed terrorists or suspected terrorists, how many have been arrested and/or arraigned in federal district court in the last two years?

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Do you want to answer that second one?  Anybody know the answer to that?

SECRETARY NIELSEN:  We can — that’s the DOJ-tracked number.  We can get you whatever is unclassified. (Inaudible.)

Q    Because that would quantify as well as qualify what you’ve been saying about terrorism at the border.

Q    We’d all like that.

SECRETARY NIELSEN:  Yeah, of course — if it’s available.


Q    Okay.  Also, for Vice President Pence.

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Yeah.  Do I have hope?  I’ve always had hope.  I’m a very hopeful person, if you know me.  I mean, we’ll get to know each other better; I’m very optimistic, very positive.

Q    (Inaudible.)

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  But if I can say this, because I obviously haven’t said it yet: The Democrats need to start negotiating.  I mean, look, I have a lot of respect for senior staff on Capitol Hill.  I worked there for 12 years.  You all know, those of you that worked Capitol Hill, members debate and then the senior staff sit down and they figure out — they put pencil to paper, and they work their hearts out.

I sat down — very respectful discussion with all these people, but all they were authorized to do was come and tell us we cannot begin negotiations until you reopen the government.

Fortunately, we found a way to facilitate a dialogue both on Saturday and on Sunday.  But again, you know, by Sunday, I was able to tell them, “I recognize you have no authority whatsoever to negotiate anything, but tell us — help us understand more of what your position is.  We’re going to help you understand the metes and bounds of the crisis, and we’re going to respond to your request for information with specificity.”  And we’ve done that.

Now the hope is that, when they return to Washington, D.C. this week, the Democratic leadership will accept the President’s invitation to come here to the White House and start negotiating.

I will tell you, when I saw Steny Hoyer on television over the weekend — as someone who I served with a long time, I have great respect for — he — one of the aspects, the President saying “steel barrier” instead of “a concrete wall,” he — I think — I paraphrase — I’m only paraphrasing, but he said something like, “That’ll be something that we discuss.”

So we’d love to discuss it.  We’d love to sit down, and we’d love to begin negotiation, but the Democrats have got to start negotiating.

Q    [Crosstalk.]


Q    Thank you, Mr. Vice President.  Can you explain: How thoroughly has the White House Counsel’s Office reviewed the possibility of the national emergency declaration?  And can you assess the confidence of the administration that it would not get tied up in some sort of legal challenge?  As you know, a lot of legal experts have said doing so would be an abuse of power by the President.  And so what is the administration’s position?

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Well, what I can tell you is — what I’m aware of is that they’re looking at it and the President is considering it.  You know, I would — I wouldn’t want to go beyond what the President has said with regard to that.  But, look, there’s no reason in the world why the Congress shouldn’t be able to roll its sleeves up and work together to find a principled compromise to address what is a real crisis at our southern border.

And that’s — I was a member of Congress; now I’m Vice President — that’s what you get paid to do.  So, you know, we’ll leave — you know, all I know is that it’s something that they’ve looked at, they’ve examined.

I do want to be clear not to confuse the point — one of the things we brought up over the weekend, Phil, is that we would be open to addressing some of these funding needs, which clearly would go beyond the cap — those of you that know the budget process well.  We’d be willing to address them with emergency supplemental funding.  And we indicated that to them because, you know, they — some of the initial conversation was, “Well, but where do you come up with this funding?”

And we honestly believe that we have a crisis at our southern border.  I hope when you all — not as reporters, but just also as fellow Americans — look at these facts, you might be prepared, as other journalists have done, to recognize the same and communicate that to the country.  And there’s no reason in the world why we shouldn’t be able to solve this through the regular legislative process.

Q    But why would Democrats yield —

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Jim, I was about to call on you (inaudible.)

Q    Well, so — okay, well, I appreciate that.

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  I really was.  Go ahead.

Q    Okay, if you shut down the government as soon as Democrats come into power in the House, what kind of example is that going to set, what kind of precedent is that going to set if the Democrats buckle as soon as they come into power — the very first confrontation that they have with you guys?


Q    And I do have a question for Secretary Nielsen on the numbers.  There is a State Department —

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Actually, can I answer your question?

Q    Sure.  Yeah.

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Your facts — the government was shut down when Republicans were still in control of the House and Senate.  We tried to solve it.

Q    Right.


Q    No, I understand that.

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Because we need —

Q    But the Democrats were sworn into power —

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Yeah, because we need 60 votes in the Senate.  You know that.  I loved where Jon started, because I was dying to clarify these facts with you all.  I can confirm — I can’t confirm the number —

Q    2.5 billion (inaudible)?  (Laughter.)

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  I can neither confirm nor deny the number.  What I can tell you is that there was a bona fide, in-writing offer on the day of the shutdown that would have ended the government shutdown.  Okay?

The second question you asked, though — you know, I know that it’s —

Q    You see where I coming from here.

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  I do.  It’s — but it makes for a lot of good conversation on cable television, but — and I didn’t mean that to be a put down.  It’s not.

Q    It’s okay.

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  What I’m saying is: That’s a political consideration.  You’re saying: Does it play politically for them or for us?  What we’re telling you is that — you look at these facts — there has been a precipitous increase in the last three to four months of families, unaccompanied minors coming to our southern border.  It’s the winter.  We believe that it is only going to dramatically increase, as the year turns and we head toward the spring.
Now is the time — for the humanitarian crisis that we’re facing, for the security crisis that we are facing — for us to come together, then address the issues that are important to the President — he believes that walls work.  He’s determined to stand firm until he receives the funds to build a steel barrier.

But the President also believes that additional personnel and the kind of reforms — the consensus reforms that we’ve now added to our proposal that came from the Democrats — are a real part of the solution.

Q    I just had one tiny little factual thing to ask —

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  And that’s where we ought to stay focused.

Q    I understand.  But, Madam Secretary, in a 2016 State Department report on terrorism in various countries — Country Reports 2016 and released July 2017, it says there are no known international terrorist organizations operating in Mexico, no evidence that any terrorist group has targeted U.S. citizens in Mexican territory, and no credible information that any member of a terrorist group has traveled through Mexico to gain access to the United States.

I assume you’re aware of that report.

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  What’s that from?


Q    That is a State Department report released July of 2017.

SECRETARY NIELSEN:  I am aware, Jim.  But, as you know, it doesn’t talk about Mexico as a transit country, and that’s what we’re trying to describe — the transits through Mexico, right?  That’s an old report, first of all.  But, secondly, the —

Q    Well, released last year by your administration in July.

SECRETARY NIELSEN:  And what we’re saying is, there is a crisis; it changed.  But it doesn’t talk about transiting.  The other thing I just want to make — important from the question over here — is, you know, this terrible adage we have to live with at the Department of Homeland Security, which is we have to get it right every day.  And the terrorists — you know, they could get it right one time.

Q    Right.

SECRETARY NIELSEN:  So one terrorist is too many.  We don’t want to enable a process that’s so broken that it pulls terrorists in.  So I told you —

Q    But that number would suggest that there are a very small number —

SECRETARY NIELSEN:  But I’ve just told you there’s a thousand terrorists — over a thousand terrorists traveling — watchlisted individuals traveling through the hemisphere.

So what you’re saying is a very small part of one report said that they don’t have a Mexican terrorist.  I’m not disputing what the State Department says one way or another —

Q    It says a member of any terrorist group.  Okay.

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  You guys can continue the conversation, I promise.

Let me conclude just with the thought — you know, the President has said many times, a country without borders is not a country.  The President is absolutely committed to border security.  He’s committed to constructing a steel barrier on the southern border.  Our number is $5.7 billion.

But he’s also committed to all of the items that are listed in our budget proposal that was presented to the Democrat leadership yesterday.  We believe the facts support — and I — the first time I’ve quoted the Washington Post at one of these things.  (Laughter.)  But the Washington Post, you know, literally called it a “bona fide emergency” in an article over the weekend, and lamented the lack of — a “bona fide emergency,” and lamented the lack of urgency on Capitol Hill to address it.

So our position is there is a crisis at the southern border.  The President has directed our team to continue to make efforts to negotiate, to open the federal government, and to address the border crisis.  But the Democrats need to start negotiating.

So thank you all.

END                 3:17 P.M. EST

President Trump is Working Hard for Border Security – Funding for The Wall – Enter Stage Right: Nancy Pelosi…Chuck Schumer – 12/11/2018 – President Trump Keeps HIS Promises!

President Trump is a Fighter for America! He met with Two formidable Opposing Leaders – He is willing to Work with the Democrats!

President Trump and Vice President Pence met with Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi – live while the world watched.  President Trump made it clear to the world that HE is willing to Shut Down the Government if America does not get funding from the Democrats for the WALL to protect America and ALL U.S. Citizens.

The Democrats keep talking about a Continuing Resolution (CR) but not the amount that President Trump needs for the Wall and Border Protection.  President Trump conveyed to Chuck and Nancy that:  Without the Wall, there is No Deal! Democrats are not willing to give President Trump the sum of money necessary to continue building the wall.

This country needs border security and we will get the wall done.  We need to have effective all security.  We need the wall in certain parts.  President Trump

President Trump told Chuck Schumer:

Yes! If we don’t get what we want one way or the other, whether it’s through you, through our military, through anything you want to call it, I will shut down the government. I am proud to shut down the government for BORDER SECURITY CHUCK.  Because the people in this country don’t want criminals and people who have lots of problems, and drugs pouring into our country. I will take the mantle of shutting down…..And I am going to shut it down for border security.

Oval Office11:40 A.M. ESTTHE PRESIDENT:  Okay, thank you very much.  It’s a great honor to have Nancy Pelosi with us and Chuck Schumer with us.  And we’ve actually worked very hard on a couple of things that are happening.  Criminal justice reform — as you know, we’ve just heard word — got word that Mitch McConnell and the group, we’re going to be putting it up for a vote.  We have great Democrat support, great Republican support.  So, criminal justice reform, something that people have been trying to get — how long, Nancy?  Many years.


THE PRESIDENT:  Many, many years.  Looks like it’s going to be passing, hopefully — famous last words — on a very bipartisan way.  And it’s really something we’re all very proud of.  And again, tremendous support from Republicans and tremendous support from Democrats.  And I think it’s going to get a very good vote.  And we’ll see soon enough.  But it will be up for a vote very shortly.  A lot of years they’ve been waiting for it.

The other thing, the farm bill is moving along nicely.  And I guess they’ll be voting on Friday or so.  But pretty close.



THE PRESIDENT:  And we think the farm bill is in very good shape.  A lot of good things are happening with it, and our farmers are well taken care of.  And again, that will be quite bipartisan and it will happen pretty soon.

And then we have the easy one, the wall.  That will be the one that will be the easiest of all.  What do you think, Chuck?  Maybe not?

SENATE MINORITY LEADER SCHUMER:  It’s called “funding the government,” Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT:  (Laughs.)  So we’re going to see.  But I will tell you, the wall will get built.  We’ll see what happens.

It is not an easy situation because the Democrats have a different view, I think, than — I can say — the Republicans.  We have great Republican support.  We don’t have Democrat support.  But we’re going to talk about that now.  We’re going to see.

One thing that I do have to say is: Tremendous amounts of wall have already been built, and a lot of — a lot of wall.  When you include the renovation of existing fences and walls, we’ve renovated a tremendous amount and we’ve done a lot of work.  In San Diego, we’re building new walls right now.  And we’ve — right next to San Diego, we’ve completed a major section of wall and it’s really worked well.

So, a lot of wall has been built.  We don’t talk about that, but we might as well start, because it’s building — it’s being built right now, big sections of wall.  And we will continue that.

And one way or the other, it’s going to get built.  I’d like not to see a government closing, a shutdown.  We will see what happens over the next short period of time.  But the wall is a very important thing to us.

I might put it a different way.  Border security is extremely important, and we have to take care of border security.  When you look at what happened with the caravans, with the people, with a lot of — we shut it down; we had no choice.  We shut it down.  But it could be a lot easier if we had real border security.

I just want to pay my respects to the Border Patrol agents and officers.  They’ve been incredible.  The ICE agents and officers, they’ve been incredible.  And very importantly, our military.  Our military went in and they did an incredible job.  They have been really, really spectacular.

A lot of the people that wanted to come into the country, and really, they were to come in no matter how they wanted to come in — they were going to come in even in a rough way — many of these people are leaving now and they’re going back to their countries: Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, and other countries.  They’re leaving.  If you noticed, it’s getting a lot less crowded in Mexico.  And a lot of them are going to stay in Mexico, and the Mexican government has been working with us very well.  So we appreciate that.  But they haven’t been coming into our country.  We can’t let people come in that way.

So that’s pretty much it.  We’re going to talk about the wall.  I wanted to talk about criminal justice reform, just to let you know how positive that is.  I want to talk about the farm bill, how positive that is.  And I want to talk about the wall.  And I will tell you, it’s a tough issue because we are in very opposite sides of — I really think I can say “border security,” but certainly the wall.

But the wall will get built.  A lot of the wall is built.  It’s been very effective.  I asked for a couple of notes on that.  If you look at San Diego, illegal traffic dropped 92 percent once the wall was up.  El Paso, illegal traffic dropped 72 percent, then ultimately 95 percent, once the wall was up.
In Tucson, Arizona, illegal traffic dropped 92 percent.  Yuma, it dropped illegal traffic 95 to 96 percent.

I mean — and when I say “dropped,” the only reason we even have any percentage where people got through is because they walk and go around areas that aren’t built.  It dropped virtually 100 percent in the areas where the wall is.  So, I mean, it’s very effective.

If you really want to find out how effective a wall is, just ask Israel — 99.9 percent effective.  And our wall will be every bit as good as that, if not better.

So we’ve done a lot of work on the wall; a lot of wall is built.  A lot of people don’t know that.  A lot of wall is renovated.  We have walls that were in very bad condition that are now in A1 tip-top shape.  And, frankly, some wall has been reinforced by our military.  Our military has done a fantastic job.  So the wall will get built, but we may not — we may not have an agreement today.  We probably won’t.  But we have an agreement on other things that are really good.

Nancy, would you like to say something?

HOUSE SPEAKER-DESIGNATE PELOSI:  Well, thank you, Mr. President, for the opportunity to meet with you so that we can work together in a bipartisan way to meet the needs of the American people.

I think the American people recognize that we must keep government open, that a shutdown is not worth anything, and that you should not have a Trump shutdown.  You have the White House —

THE PRESIDENT:  Did you say “Trump” — oh, oh.

HOUSE SPEAKER-DESIGNATE PELOSI:  A “Trump shutdown.”  You have the White House —

THE PRESIDENT:  I was going to call it a “Pelosi shutdown.”

HOUSE SPEAKER-DESIGNATE PELOSI:  You have the Senate.  You have the House of Representatives.  You have the votes.  You should pass it right now.

THE PRESIDENT:  No, we don’t have the votes, Nancy, because in the Senate, we need 60 votes and we don’t have it.

HOUSE SPEAKER-DESIGNATE PELOSI:  No, no, but in the House, you could bring it up right now, today.

THE PRESIDENT:  Yeah, but I can’t — excuse me.  But I can’t get it passed in the House if it’s not going to pass in the Senate.  I don’t want to waste time.

HOUSE SPEAKER-DESIGNATE PELOSI:  Well, the fact is you can get it started that way.

THE PRESIDENT:  The House we can get passed very easily, and we do.

HOUSE SPEAKER-DESIGNATE PELOSI:  Okay, then do it.  Then do it.

THE PRESIDENT:  But the problem is the Senate, because we need 10 Democrats to vote, and they won’t vote.

HOUSE SPEAKER-DESIGNATE PELOSI:  No, no, that’s not the point, Mr. President.  The point is —

THE PRESIDENT:  It’s sort of the point.

HOUSE SPEAKER-DESIGNATE PELOSI:  — that there are equities to be weighed.  And we are here to have a conversation —


HOUSE SPEAKER-DESIGNATE PELOSI:  — in a careful way.  So I don’t think we should have a debate in front of the press on this.  But the fact is, the House Republicans could bring up this bill, if they had the votes, immediately, and set the tone for what you want.

THE PRESIDENT:  If we thought we were going to get it passed in the Senate, Nancy, we would do it immediately.  We would get it passed very easily in the House.

HOUSE SPEAKER-DESIGNATE PELOSI:  No, that’s not the point.  That’s not the point.

THE PRESIDENT:  Nancy, I’d have it passed in two seconds.  It doesn’t matter, though, because we can’t get it passed in the Senate because we need 10 Democrat votes.  That’s the problem.

HOUSE SPEAKER-DESIGNATE PELOSI:  Well, again, let us have our conversation —

THE PRESIDENT:  That’s right.

HOUSE SPEAKER-DESIGNATE PELOSI:  — and then we can meet with the press again.  But the fact is, is that legislating — which is what we do —


HOUSE SPEAKER-DESIGNATE PELOSI:  — you begin, you make your point, you state your case.  That’s what the House Republicans could do, if they had the votes.  But there are no votes in the House, a majority of votes, for a wall — no matter where you start.

SENATE MINORITY LEADER SCHUMER:  That is exactly right.  You don’t have the votes in the House.

THE PRESIDENT:  If I needed the votes for the wall in the House, I would have them — in one session, it would be done.

HOUSE SPEAKER-DESIGNATE PELOSI:  Well, then go do it.  Go do it.

THE PRESIDENT:  It doesn’t help because we need 10 Democrats in the Senate.

HOUSE SPEAKER-DESIGNATE PELOSI:  No, don’t put it on the Senate.  Put it on the negotiation.

THE PRESIDENT:  Okay, let me ask you this.  Just — and we’re doing this in a very friendly manner.  It doesn’t help for me to take a vote in the House, where I will win easily with the Republicans —


THE PRESIDENT:  It doesn’t help to take that vote because I’m not going to get the vote of the Senate.

HOUSE SPEAKER-DESIGNATE PELOSI:  Well, don’t blame it on the Senate, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT:  I need 10 senators.  That’s the problem.

HOUSE SPEAKER-DESIGNATE PELOSI:  Mr. President, you have the White House, you have the Senate.

THE PRESIDENT:  I have the White House.

HOUSE SPEAKER-DESIGNATE PELOSI:  You have the House of Representatives.

THE PRESIDENT:  The White House is done.  And the House would give me the vote if I wanted it.  But I can’t because I need —

HOUSE SPEAKER-DESIGNATE PELOSI:  But you can’t — you can’t —

THE PRESIDENT:  Nancy, I need 10 votes from Chuck.

SENATE MINORITY LEADER SCHUMER:  All right, let me say something here.

HOUSE SPEAKER-DESIGNATE PELOSI:  Mr. President, let me — let me just say one thing.  The fact is you do not have the votes in the House.

THE PRESIDENT:  Nancy, I do.  And we need border security.

HOUSE SPEAKER-DESIGNATE PELOSI:  Well, let’s take the vote and we’ll find out.

THE PRESIDENT:  Nancy.  Nancy.  We need border security.  It’s very simple.


THE PRESIDENT:  We need border security.


THE PRESIDENT:  People are pouring into our country, including terrorists.  We have terrorists.  We caught 10 terrorists over the last very short period of time.  Ten.  These are very serious people.  Our border agents, all of our law enforcement has been incredible what they’ve done.  But we caught 10 terrorists.  These are people that were looking to do harm.

We need the wall.  We need — more important than anything, we need border security, of which the wall is just a piece.  But it’s important.

Chuck, did you want to say something?

SENATE MINORITY LEADER SCHUMER:  Yeah.  Here’s what I want to say: We have a lot of disagreements here.  The Washington Post today gave you a whole lot of Pinocchios because they say you constantly misstate how much the wall is — how much of the wall is built and how much is there.

But that’s not the point here.  We have a disagreement about the wall —

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, the Washington Post — (laughs) —

SENATE MINORITY LEADER SCHUMER:  — whether it’s effective or it isn’t.  Not on border security, but on the wall.

We do not want to shut down the government.  You have called 20 times to shut down the government.  You say, “I want to shut down the government.”  We don’t.  We want to come to an agreement.  If we can’t come to an agreement, we have solutions that will pass the House and Senate right now, and will not shut down the government.  And that’s what we’re urging you to do.  Not threaten to shut down the government —



THE PRESIDENT:  You don’t want to shut down the government, Chuck.

SENATE MINORITY LEADER SCHUMER:  Let me just finish. Because you can’t get your way.

THE PRESIDENT:  Because the last time you shut it down you got killed.

SENATE MINORITY LEADER SCHUMER:  Yeah.  Let me say something, Mr. President.  You just say, “My way, or we’ll shut down the government.”  We have a proposal that Democrats and Republicans will support to do a CR that will not shut down the government.  We urge you to take it.

THE PRESIDENT:  And if it’s not good border security, I won’t take it.

HOUSE SPEAKER-DESIGNATE PELOSI:  It is good border security.

SENATE MINORITY LEADER SCHUMER:  It is very good border security.

THE PRESIDENT:  And if it’s not good border security, I won’t take it.

HOUSE SPEAKER-DESIGNATE PELOSI:  It’s actually what the border security asked for.


THE PRESIDENT:  Because when you look at these numbers of the effectiveness of our border security, and when you look at the job that we’re doing with our military —

SENATE MINORITY LEADER SCHUMER:  You just said it is effective.

THE PRESIDENT:  Can I be — can I tell you something?

SENATE MINORITY LEADER SCHUMER:  Yeah, you just said it’s effective.

THE PRESIDENT:  Without a wall — these are only areas where you have the walls.


THE PRESIDENT:  Where you have walls, Chuck, it’s effective.  Where you don’t have walls, it is not effective.

HOUSE SPEAKER-DESIGNATE PELOSI:  Wait a second.  Let’s call a halt to this.


HOUSE SPEAKER-DESIGNATE PELOSI:  Let’s call a halt to this.  We’ve come in here as the first branch of government: Article I, the legislative branch.  We’re coming in, in good faith, to negotiate with you about how we can keep the government open.


THE PRESIDENT:  We’re going to keep it open —


THE PRESIDENT:  — if we have border security.


THE PRESIDENT:  If we don’t have border security, Chuck —


THE PRESIDENT:  — we’re not going to keep it open.

HOUSE SPEAKER-DESIGNATE PELOSI:  I’m with you.  We are going to have border security.

SENATE MINORITY LEADER SCHUMER:  And it’s the same border –

HOUSE SPEAKER-DESIGNATE PELOSI:  Effective border security.

SENATE MINORITY LEADER SCHUMER:  You’re bragging about what has been done.


SENATE MINORITY LEADER SCHUMER:  We want to do the same thing we did last year, this year.  That’s our proposal.  If it’s good then, it’s good now, and it won’t shut down the government.

THE PRESIDENT:  Chuck, we can build a much bigger section with more money.



SENATE MINORITY LEADER SCHUMER:  Let’s debate in private.

HOUSE SPEAKER-DESIGNATE PELOSI:   We have taken this conversation —




HOUSE SPEAKER-DESIGNATE PELOSI:  — to a place that is devoid, frankly, of fact.  And we can dispel that.

THE PRESIDENT:  We need border security.  And I think we all agree that we need border security.


THE PRESIDENT:  Is that right?


THE PRESIDENT:  See?  We get along.

Thank you, everybody.

Q    (Inaudible), Mr. President.  You say border security and the wall.  Can you have border security without the wall?  There’s a commonality on border security.

THE PRESIDENT:  No, you need the wall.  The wall is a part of border security.

Q    Are you re-defining what it means to have border security?

THE PRESIDENT:  Yeah.  We need border security.  The wall is a part of border security.  You can’t have very good border security without the wall, no.

HOUSE SPEAKER-DESIGNATE PELOSI:  That’s simply not true.  That is a political promise.  Border security is a way to effectively honor our responsibilities.

SENATE MINORITY LEADER SCHUMER:  And the experts say you can do border security without a wall, which is wasteful and doesn’t solve the problem.

THE PRESIDENT:  It totally solves the problem.

HOUSE SPEAKER-DESIGNATE PELOSI:  Again, but I don’t want to take this —

THE PRESIDENT:  And it’s very important.

HOUSE SPEAKER-DESIGNATE PELOSI:  Unfortunately, this has spiraled downward from — we came at a place to say, “How do we meet the needs of American people who have needs?”  The economy has — people are losing their jobs.  The market is in a mood.  Our members are already (inaudible).

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, we have the lowest unemployment that we’ve had in 50 years.

HOUSE SPEAKER-DESIGNATE PELOSI:  Sixty people of the Republican Party have lost — are losing their offices now because of the transition.  People are not — the morale is not —

THE PRESIDENT:  And we’ve gained in the Senate.  Nancy, we’ve gained in the Senate.


THE PRESIDENT:  Excuse me.  Did we win the Senate?

HOUSE SPEAKER-DESIGNATE PELOSI:  — is not (inaudible).

THE PRESIDENT:  We won the Senate.

HOUSE SPEAKER-DESIGNATE PELOSI:  When the President brags that he won North Dakota and Indiana, he’s in real trouble.



THE PRESIDENT:  We did win North Dakota.

HOUSE SPEAKER-DESIGNATE PELOSI:  This is the most unfortunate thing.  We came in here in good faith, and we are entering into this kind of a discussion in the public view.

THE PRESIDENT:  But it’s not bad, Nancy.

HOUSE SPEAKER-DESIGNATE PELOSI:  Let us — no, but it’s —

THE PRESIDENT:  It’s called transparency.

HOUSE SPEAKER-DESIGNATE PELOSI:  I know.  But it’s not transparency when we’re not stipulating to a set of facts.  And when we wanted to have a debate with you about saying we’d confront some of these facts  —

THE PRESIDENT:  You know what?  We need border security.

HOUSE SPEAKER-DESIGNATE PELOSI:  — without saying to the public, “This isn’t true.”

THE PRESIDENT:  That’s what we’re going to be talking about: border security.  If we don’t have border security, we’ll shut down the government.  This country needs border security.


THE PRESIDENT:  The wall is a part of border security.


THE PRESIDENT:  Let’s have a talk.  We’re going to get the wall built and we’ve done a lot of wall already.

Q    Mr. President, how big a part of border security is the wall?  Is that the —

THE PRESIDENT:  It’s a big section.  It’s a big part of it.

Q    Is it everything that you need?

THE PRESIDENT:  It’s a big part of it.  We need to have effective border security.  We need a wall in certain parts — no, not in all parts — but in certain parts of a 2,000-mile border, we need a wall.

Q    How much money, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT:  We are doing it much under budget.  We’re actually way under —

Q    (Inaudible) this conversation.

THE PRESIDENT:  — budget on the areas that we’ve renovated and areas that we’ve built.  I would say if we got —

Q    Do you still need the —

THE PRESIDENT:  — if we got $5 billion, we could do a tremendous chunk of wall.

Q    Is that mandatory?

Q    Would you accept less though?  And are your guests conversely willing to offer more?

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, we’re going to see.  We’re going to see.  Look, we have to have the wall.  This isn’t a question; this is a national emergency.  Drugs are pouring into our country.  People with tremendous medical difficulty and medical problems are pouring in, and in many — in many cases, it’s contagious.  They’re pouring into our country.  We have to have border security.  We have to have a wall as part of border security.

And I don’t think we really disagree so much.  I also know that, you know, Nancy is in a situation where it’s not easy for her to talk right now, and I understand that.  And I fully understand that.  We’re going to have a good discussion and we’re going to see what happens.


THE PRESIDENT:  But we have to have border security.

HOUSE SPEAKER-DESIGNATE PELOSI:  Mr. President, please don’t characterize the strength that I bring to this meeting as the Leader of the House Democrats who just won a big victory.  But let me —

SENATE MINORITY LEADER SCHUMER:  Elections have consequences, Mr. President.


THE PRESIDENT:  That’s right.  And that’s why the country is doing so well.

HOUSE SPEAKER-DESIGNATE PELOSI:  Let me say this: What the President is representing in terms of his cards over there are not factual.  We have to have to an evidence-based conversation about what does work, what money has been spent, and how effective it is.

This isn’t about — this is about the security of our country.  We take an oath to protect and defend, and we don’t want to have that mischaracterized by anyone.  And we are —

THE PRESIDENT:  I agree with that.


THE PRESIDENT:  No, no I agree with that.

HOUSE SPEAKER-DESIGNATE PELOSI:  — we are (inaudible).

So let us have a conversation where we don’t have to contradict, in public, the statistics that you put forth but instead can have a conversation about what would really work and what the American people deserve from us at this uncertain time in their lives, where they have apprehension.

SENATE MINORITY LEADER SCHUMER:  The one thing I think we can agree on is we shouldn’t shut down the government over a dispute.  And you want to shut it down.  You keep talking about it.

THE PRESIDENT:  I — no, no, no, no, no.  The last time, Chuck, you shut it down —


THE PRESIDENT:  — and then you opened it up very quickly.

SENATE MINORITY LEADER SCHUMER:  Twenty times.  Twenty times.

THE PRESIDENT:  And I don’t want to do what you did.  But, Chuck —

SENATE MINORITY LEADER SCHUMER:  Twenty times you have called for, “I will shut down the government if I don’t get my wall.”  None of us have said —

THE PRESIDENT:  You want to know something?


THE PRESIDENT:  Okay, you want to put that on my —


THE PRESIDENT:  I’ll take it.


THE PRESIDENT:  You know what I’ll say: Yes, if we don’t get what we want, one way or the other — whether it’s through you, through a military, through anything you want to call — I will shut down the government.  Absolutely.

SENATE MINORITY LEADER SCHUMER:  Okay.  Fair enough.  We disagree.

THE PRESIDENT:  And I am proud — and I’ll tell you what —


THE PRESIDENT:  I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck, because the people of this country don’t want criminals and people that have lots of problems and drugs pouring into our country.  So I will take the mantle.  I will be the one to shut it down.  I’m not going to blame you for it.  The last time you shut it down, it didn’t work.  I will take the mantle of shutting down.


THE PRESIDENT:  And I’m going to shut it down for border security.

SENATE MINORITY LEADER SCHUMER:  But we believe you shouldn’t shut it down.

THE PRESIDENT:  Okay.  Thank you very much everybody.  Thank you.

HOUSE SPEAKER-DESIGNATE PELOSI:  (Inaudible) shut down the government.

Q    Chief of Staff?

Q    Have you picked a Chief of Staff, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  Yeah, we’re interviewing a lot of — we have a lot of great people for Chief of Staff.  A lot of people want the job.  A lot of people want the job.  And I have some great people.  A lot of friends of mine want it.  A lot of people that Chuck and Nancy know very well want it.  I think people you’d like.  We have a lot of people that want the job — Chief of Staff.  So we’ll be seeing what happens very soon.  We’re in no rush.  We’re in no rush.

Q    Why?  Why no rush, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT:  Why?  Because we have a wonderful Chief of Staff right now.  Just no — we are in no rush.  Over a period of a week or two, or maybe less, we’ll announce who it’s going to be.  But we have a lot of people that want the position.

Thank you very much everybody.  Thanks.


11:58 A.M. EST

This heated debate shows us, President Trump’s base, that He means what He says and He keeps his Promises.  American Patriots are so Proud of You Mr. President.  It is an amazing view into what you are doing for America.  God Bless Your Plans Sir!

President Trump speaks after meeting with Democrat leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.  President Trump stated that they made a lot of progress. One of the important subjects discussed is Criminal Justice Reform, a bill that will be voted on very shortly.  This coming Friday.


President Trump Participates in a Joint Press Conference with the Prime minister of the UK – Teresa May – Buckinghamshire, England – 7/13/2018

President Trump participates in a Joint Press Conference with the Prime Minister of the U.K. Teresa May – They talked about problems and solutions to the problems that face both Nations. They also discussed Trade, Security, NATO, Defense, Terrorism, Stopping Nuclear Proliferation, North Korea, Iran.

President Trump only asks PM Teresa May to continue trade with the U.S.  Brexit he said is the U.K.’s business.  He is fine with whatever the U.K. decides. President Trump wants to keep trading with U.K. open.

PM May said that there will be no limit to the possibility of the U.K. doing trade deals with other countries, including the U.S.

President Trump stated that the U.S. and the U.K. are more unified than before.  

President Trump’s Weekly Address – Senate Democrats Are Blocking talented Men’s and Women’s Nominations – Also Blocking Border Security – The White House – 6/2/2018





Attorney General Jeff Sessions – Illegal Immigration – Interview with Judge Jeanine


Judge Jeanine Pirro met with Attorney General Jeff Sessions Inside the DOJ regarding Illegal Immigration, Sanctuary cities and his trip to the border. The many points they spoke about are detailed below:

  • The border is not open to anyone who just thinks they can cross it

  • AG has provided a new mechanism for dealing with illegal immigration and has added 125 new Immigration Judges

  • The cases being sent to the U. S. Attorneys, their Border cases are going to be prioritized

  • The Gang members coming in for a second time, their cases are going to be prioritized

  • Border Patrol Agents are going to be protected

  • This border is not open, if you come to America, come lawfully, don’t come unlawfully

  • There is a decline in attempts to enter in America. March was the lowest month in 17 years, it was 72% below Obama’s last month in office.

Jeanine: Obama stated in the summer of 2014 that there is a lot of poverty in Central America, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras.  Gang members and their influx that are here, how do we find them, identify them and move them out? 

Sessions:  MS-13 has come back and “we are coming after you and other gangs too.”  But the MS-13 is a particularly violent gang group.  They will be convicted, serve their time and then we’ll deport them.  

Jeanine:  In order to get initiated in this MS-13 it’s murder incorporated, it’s what they do.  If a gang a member of MS-13 who gets in illegally, is that grounds to prioritize their case and remove them?

Sessions:  YES!  Every person who comes in can expect to be deported. “Don’t Deport Me!”   We need to restore lawfulness.  If you want to come, wait your turn.  But if someone commits a crime, while they are here legally or illegally, before permanent residents, they can and should be deported.

Jeanine:  We need more judges, we need more courts!

Sessions:  I have examined the hiring process and it takes way too long. We are going to cut that way down.  We will have 75 new judges next year.  We will add 50 new ones within the next few weeks at the border.

Jeanine:  What are we going to do with those sanctuary cities, besides not giving them grant money?

Sessions:  First and foremost, they (Cities) need to listen to their constituents.  I do not believe the people of Lansing, Michigan, wanted an individual who came to the country illegally, who got convicted of an assault, or crime, or murder, or rape or drug deal AND is under the US Law, shall be removed from America. Why would any city would say NO you can’t remove these people, they get to stay in our communities? It makes no sense!  

First, the voters of these cities, they need to hold their city councils and mayors to account.  The police works for the mayor. Police Officers in sanctuary cities think this is crazy.  

Jeanine:  Some of them are appointed by the mayors. There has got to be a mechanism  that the federal government has so that the local police can actual identify when an MS-13 gang member is getting out of jail for a crime that some mayor doesn’t’ think it’s important enough to notify ICE.

Sessions:  Well Secretary Kelly, Secretary of Homeland Security is doing a great job!  Our ICE officers are doing a great job!  They just need a heads up. The detainer is that mechanism.  You know from a prosecutor in New York. One jurisdiction honors the next door jurisdiction.  When you finish  your sentence of the bad guy, and if they got a case to hold them on, you hold them and turn them over to them. That is what the detainer allows to happen.  What we are doing now is irrational, it makes no sense, it undermines the relationship with the U.S. Government and I think these cities need to be held to account.

Jeanine:  They want to be humane about this.  Like President Obama said “This is not who we are!”

Sessions:  It is a remarkable thought, really. People come to America by permission, they have a visa. It says I can come here for a time. Or they break in the border illegally, or they are here at our sufferance.  And if they commit a crime here, the law says: They SHALL be deported. No MAYBE, SHALL BE. And I don’t understand all this.  We got to keep the pressure up. We going to look at these grant programs, if you are not cooperating with the Federal Government, you are going to lose grant money.  We going to battle on them every step of the way.  We are going to keep pressure on these cities and it’s just important for America and the people in these cities.  

Just by listening to AG Sessions one comes to realize we finally have a man of conviction who follows U.S. Laws and the Constitution. It is extremely important to talk all these procedures out in details as he is doing and enforce them in order to protect the American population from foreign predators and homeland elected rouge officials.  R. Micallef