Immigrant Rights Activist Decries Trump Remarks About Southern Border

President Donald Trump addressed the nation Tuesday night in his first prime-time speech from the Oval Office. He urged Congress to approve $5.7 billion to build a wall on the US-Mexico border, but he opted not to declare a national emergency to force construction of the wall, in a xenophobic speech riddled with falsehoods. We speak with Oscar Chacón, executive director of Alianza Americas, an immigrant rights group based in Chicago.

Transcript

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: President Donald Trump addressed the nation Tuesday night in his first prime-time speech from the Oval Office. He urged Congress to approve $5.7 billion to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, but he opted not to declare a national emergency to force construction of that wall.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Our southern border is a pipeline for vast quantities of illegal drugs, including meth, heroin, cocaine and fentanyl. Every week, 300 of our citizens are killed by heroin alone, 90 percent of which floods across from our southern border. More Americans will die from drugs this year than were killed in the entire Vietnam War.

In the last two years, ICE officers made 266,000 arrests of aliens with criminal records, including those charged or convicted of 100,000 assaults, 30,000 sex crimes and 4,000 violent killings. Over the years, thousands of Americans have been brutally killed by those who illegally entered our country, and thousands more lives will be lost if we don’t act right now. This is a humanitarian crisis, a crisis of the heart and a crisis of the soul.

AMY GOODMAN: Fact checkers disputed key aspects of President Trump’s claims, which he often repeats.

On the drug front, the spike in overdoses is directly linked to the rising use of the opioid fentanyl, which largely comes from China, not the southern border. CNNreports U.S. government data shows most of the hard narcotics seized by Customs and Border Protection comes…

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