Rep. Malinowski Condemns Trump's Speech
The president gave a recklessly dishonest speech tonight. There is no humanitarian crisis at the border except for the one created by his own policy of detaining families. It has not deterred desperate people from seeking refuge in the United States, but has overwhelmed detention facilities and the asylum system. There is no threat to our safety except for the one created by the president’s shutdown of the government, which has weakened security at airports and the border. We must better secure the border, but that can be done with more people and technology, using funds the Congress has provided but that the president has refused to spend. We do not need to build a monument to the president’s ego that anyone with a ladder could get over and that would make America look fearful and foolish.
The president is entitled to try to persuade Congress and the American people to pursue whatever policies he thinks are needed. But he is not entitled to shut down the government when he fails to persuade us. If we acquiesce to this tactic, it will be used again and again, and our government will descend into chaos.
House Democrats, joined by an increasing number of Republicans, are passing spending bills to reopen the government – the same spending bills that the Republican Senate adopted unanimously last year. The Senate can and should end this fiasco by passing those bills now. Once that happens, I hope we can have a serious debate about immigration, one in which the president can present his ideas, and so can those of us who support comprehensive immigration reform, relief for Dreamers, and end to cruel and unnecessary policies such as family separation. Let us have that debate without holding the rest of the U.S. government hostage.