President Trump sent word this afternoon he will make a major announcement from the White House tomorrow at 3 p.m. Eastern Time. Were I his speech writer, my draft would look something like this:
My fellow Americans,
For the past 29 days, parts of your Federal Government have been shut down due to the lack of an authorized budget for 2019. About 800,000 workers have been on furlough, uncertain when they will see their next paycheck. Essential services like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, on which many Americans depend, are close to exhausting their resources and leaving citizens in danger of hunger and other financial hardships.
This intolerable situation exists for only one reason: the refusal of the Democratic leadership in Congress to approve funding our Border Patrol personnel have requested to secure our nation’s border and maintain our right to determine who may enter. While the Democrats profess sympathy for those affected by these events, their actions show otherwise. Last weekend many Congressmen were enjoying sunny Puerto Rico, in the company of over 100 lobbyists. I was here, in the White House, waiting to discuss the issue. This week, Speaker Pelosi and other Democrats planned to take a taxpayer-funded seven-day trip overseas, until I denied the use of our military resources for such travel at a time when portions of our government are without funding. As I pointed out in my letter to Speaker Pelosi, our people are better served if she and Senator Schumer remain here in Washington so we can resolve this issue.
I campaigned in 2016 with a strong promise I would secure our border against illegal immigration and the flow of narcotics. Our broken border and immigration processes have been political talking points for more than 30 years. Now, the current opioid crisis and the documented number of violent crimes committed by those who break into our country prove the urgent need for action. I was entrusted with this office by Americans who expected me to uphold my promise to act. And I will.
As I speak, another caravan of migrants has been organized and is moving north through Mexico, seeking to enter our country without permission. The defense of our nation is my greatest responsibility, and I have urged Congress for two years to provide the resources we need to meet these kinds of challenges. But national security seems to be the only government spending program Democrats don’t like. Therefore, I am declaring a National Emergency with regard to the illegal entry of persons and illegal substances into this country. As part of this declaration, I have directed the Defense Department to provide all possible support that may be requested by the Customs and Border Patrol to enable them to detect, detain and quickly return to their country of origin anyone found crossing our border illegally. I have also directed the Army Corps of Engineers to proceed immediately with the construction of additional physical barriers on our border, prioritizing locations and types of barriers as the Border Patrol believes will best secure our frontier. I have directed the Defense Department to divert five percent of all previously approved operational funds for 2019 to enable the immediate start of this construction, and to support the agency’s assistance to the Border Patrol.
In addition, the State Department has been directed to cease processing of all immigration requests, including programs like the H-1B work visa, until the current impasse is resolved and the government restored to full funding.
To our hard working Customs and Border Patrol, I offer the thanks of a grateful America for the critical work you do. To our armed forces, I am confident in your ability to mobilize quickly the resources needed to aid our border agents. To our furloughed Federal workers, I regret you have been placed in this position. If Congress had passed their appropriation bills on time, and kept in mind my pleas not to leave out border funding yet again, we would not be where we are today.
A nation that cannot control its own borders loses control of its future. If we cannot protect our sovereignty, nothing else we do will make or keep America great. It is a blessing to have been born here, and we protect that blessing for our descendants by ensuring those who join us here show respect for the customs and laws that made our land attractive in the first place. The actions I announced today are only a small start in solving the problem of our broken border and immigration policies. I urge my counterparts in Congress to work with me in good faith to find long-lasting solutions for this and other issues facing our nation. When you’re ready to do so, you know where to find me. I urge you not to waste another 29 days.
Like I said, a guy can hope, right?