Addressing the nation on Saturday in a televised speech from the White House, Trump outlined a plan that would extend temporary protections for young undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children — known as Dreamers — and individuals from some Central American and African nations, in exchange for $5.7 billion funding for a wall on the US-Mexico border.
“Both sides in Washington must simply come together, listen to each other, put down their armor, build trust, reach across the aisle and find solutions,” Trump proclaimed, but then insisted, “A wall is not immoral. The radical left can never control our borders. I will never let that happen.”
He further added, “As a candidate for president, I promised I would fix this crisis, and I intend to keep that promise one way or the other.”
The offered deal would also extend protections for 300,000 recipients of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program — which protects immigrants from designated countries with conditions that prevent nationals from returning safely.
“Our immigration system should be a source of pride, not a source of shame as it is all over the world,” Trump said, before urging politicians to “take off their armor” and find solutions.
He spent much of the address talking about the dangers that an open border presented, describing a “very wide and open gateway for criminals and gang members to enter the United States.” However, he also teased the possibility of future, broader immigration reform if his proposals were accepted by Congress.
“If we are successful in this effort, we will have the best chance in a long time at real, bipartisan immigration reform, and it won’t stop here, it will keep going until we do it all,” he said.
Seeking to make his case during his speech, Trump further seized on his belief that there is a “crisis” along the border requiring “urgent action.”
“Illegal immigration reduces wages and strains public services. The lack of border control provides a gateway, a very wide and open gateway, for criminals and gang members to enter the United States,” he claimed.