AILA Quicktake #255: President Trump Addresses the Nation for Support on the Border Wall

Greg Chen, AILA's Director of Government Relations, discusses President Trump's remarks from his speech on January 8, 2019, and explains why we need to invest in the immigration courts rather than a border wall.

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  • President Trump's speech on Tuesday was riddled with distortions and misrepresentations of immigrants in an attempt to justify the need for a border wall. Watch this #AILAQuickTake with @GregChenAILA to learn more.
  • President Trump is asking for more funding for #immigration judges (IJs), but he is the one who has drastically escalated the court backlog. Watch this #AILAQuickTake on how the administration has made it harder for IJs to handle their cases efficiently.
  • The shutdown is jeopardizing the lives of #asylum seekers waiting for their cases to be heard. Watch this #AILAQuickTake with @GregChenAILA in response to President Trump's #immigration address this week.
  • President Trump's interference with the #immigration courts makes it even more clear that we need an independent #immigration court system to ensure efficiency and #DueProcess. Watch this #AILAQuickTake on President Trump's address to learn more.

Video Transcript

In his speech, the President delivered a his usual litany of justifications for the border wall,
many of them false or misleading, such as claims that immigrants are dangerous criminals when
data actually shows that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than the native born.
Despite clear signs that leaders in his own party, like Cory Gardner, Shelly Moore Capito,
Lisa Murkowski, are calling for him to compromise, he doubled down. And further inflated his
demands not only for the wall but also for more immigration judges, detention beds, and
border agents. It is absurd that he’s asking for more funding for judges, when he has escalated
the immigration court backlog to a record high of 800,000 cases. It is he who is
making it harder for judges to handle their cases efficiently and fairly.
his shutdown all of the non-detained dockets is forcing asylum seekers and others to wait
what will be years for their cases to be decided. It is jeopardizing the lives of asylum seekers
and others seeking legal relief. His interference with the courts is why we need
an immigration court that is independent, not puppets controlled by the Department of Justice.
So as predicted the President riled up his base but offered no workable solutions for addressing
border security. Our country needs border security but that can be accomplished while also ensuring
the orderly and fair processing of people coming to our border. Perhaps most outrageous was
the hypocritical concerns he expressed for the women and children making the dangerous
journey through Mexico to the United States when his asylum ban and the Remain in Mexico
plan will block asylum seekers outright or keep them waiting in Mexico in unsafe conditions.
He called Congress immoral but it is his policies that are unlawful and unjust.
They must be stopped and AILA is fighting to do that.

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 19010932.