Trump rallies supporters amid wall deadlock

Brick and mortar: 58% of Americans are opposed to the border wall, while 40% are in favour.

As another government shutdown looms, Trump used a rally in El Paso, Texas, to insist that his wall is being built. But the city’s mayor says there is no crisis at the border.

US President Donald Trump held a rally in the border city of El Paso, Texas, on Monday. Thousands of his supporters were at the County Coliseum, which was decked out with US flags and huge red banners reading “Finish the Wall”.

“We are doing whatever we have to do,” said the president. “The wall is being built.”

Trump’s divisive border wall pledge was central to his bid for the White House. Now, he claims the border is the site of a “security crisis”.

Tremendous numbers of people are coming up through Mexico in the hopes of flooding our southern border,” Trump tweeted last week. According to the president, only a “big, beautiful wall” will stop illegal immigrants entering the US.

In October, 2,000 troops were sent to defend the southern border.

The Democrat-controlled House disagrees and is standing firm against Trump’s demand for $5.7 billion to fund the wall.

The US-Mexico border winds 1,954 miles through towns and desert. Around 600 miles are fenced off.

El Paso sits just across the Rio Grande river from Mexico.

“From my vantage point in El Paso there is no crisis,” said Dee Margo, the city’s mayor. “You look south and you can’t tell where El Paso merges into Júarez.”

The number of immigrants crossing into the US from Mexico is, in fact, falling. Last year, there were 400,000 border arrests, compared with well over one million in the early 2000s.

Build the wall!

Is there a crisis on the US border? While overall immigrant numbers are falling, more and more asylum seekers are arriving at a time when the White House is restricting asylum applications.

Should all asylum seekers be accepted? If so, how much help should the state give them? More or less than its own citizens?

You Decide

  1. Is immigration good or bad for a country?

Activities

  1. In one minute, write down all the words you associate with the term “immigrant”. Overall, are they negative or positive? What does this tell you about how immigration is viewed? Is it a fair representation?

Some People Say...

“Men build too many walls and not enough bridges.”

Joseph Fort Newton

What do you think?

Q & A

What do we know?
The Democrat-controlled House is no nearer to giving Trump the $5.7 billion he wants to build a 1,000-mile concrete wall along the US-Mexico border. Over Christmas, the stand-off triggered the longest government shutdown in US history as the two sides struggled to agree on a budget.
What do we not know?
Whether the wall will be built, or even what it will be made of.

Word Watch

Border
Every congressperson along the southern border opposes the wall.
Tremendous
A very large amount.
Democrat-controlled
Democrats won control of the House of Representatives (one of two chambers in the US Congress) in November’s midterm elections.

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