Trump’s Presidential Address


Michael Puglisi, Contributor

Donald Trump had many campaign promises, but his promise to build a wall in an attempt to thwart illegal immigration on our southern border has loomed the largest. Recently, he shut down the government when he did not receive the desired five billion dollars to build this wall. This left 800,000 government employees without pay, and 48,000 essential personnel required to work for free. In an attempt to rally support for his border wall, he gave a televised address on October 8th in an attempt to bolster support for his wall.

He began his address talking about the crisis of holding illegal immigrants awaiting a trial, and how it is becoming increasingly difficult to house them. He states that ICE officers have made 266,000 arrests of illegal immigrants with criminal records, and that 300 Americans are killed every year by heroin, and that 90% of this floods through the southern border. He then goes on about the tribulations of illegal immigrants who come up from the southern border and calls these women and children the biggest victims. But he does not say how his wall will help any of them in any way.

He then begins to address his proposal itself, which he states was drafted by border agents, which he says will utilize cutting edge drug-detection technology but does not go into further detail than that. He also urges that Congress close border security loopholes. He also said that some politicians who think this barrier is immoral to have gates and fences around their own homes, which really doesn’t make any sense. He cites two instances of illegal immigrants killing uniformed officers.

Throughout the speech, note that he refers to those crossing the border not as, say, illegal immigrants, but as illegal aliens. It’s obvious to see that he’s trying to incite fear in the American populace and dehumanize them in our minds. It’s also important to note that some of the people who Trump refers to as illegal aliens are in fact coming here seeking asylum. He also blames the Democrats for the shutdown, even after claiming responsibility for the shutdown in a televised meeting. He mentioned that he would be meeting with Democrats in an attempt to solve this issue (he walked out of this meeting and called it a complete waste of time).

The response by the news media has seen many fact-check his speech and show the populace the glaring inaccuracies therein. The New York Times has a good article on the subject which you can find here.

But how are we as an American populace to take stock in his words after he’s stated publicly “It’s not going to change a damn thing, but I’m still doing it,”. The president doesn’t seem to care about the speech or the trip to the border wall itself, he just cares about the publicity.