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My fellow Americans, tonight, I am speaking to you because there is a growing humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border. All Americans are hurt by uncontrolled illegal migration. It strains public resources and drives down jobs and wages. Law enforcement professionals have requested $5.7 billion for a physical barrier.
At the request of Democrats, it will be a steel barrier rather than a concrete wall. This barrier is absolutely critical to border security. This is just common sense. The border wall would very quickly pay for itself. The cost of illegal drugs exceeds $500 billion a year, vastly more than the $5.7 billion we have requested from Congress.
The federal government remains shut down for one reason and one reason only, because Democrats will not fund border security. I have invited Congressional leadership to the White House tomorrow to get this done. Hopefully we can rise above parties and politics in order to support national security.>> The fact is president Trump has chosen to hold hostage critical services for the health, safety and well being of the American people and and withhold the pay checks of 800,000 innocent workers across the nation, many of them veterans.
President Trump must stop holding the American people hostage, must stop manufacturing a crisis and must reopen the government.>> So how do we untangle this mess? Well, there's an obvious solution. Separate the shutdown from arguments over border security. There is bipartisan legislation supported by Democrats and Republicans to reopen government while allowing debate over border security to continue.
There is no excuse for hurting millions of Americans over a policy difference.