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    The sun rises behind the White House in Washington, Saturday, Dec. 22, 2018. Hundreds of thousands of federal workers faced a partial government shutdown early Saturday after Democrats refused to meet President Donald Trump's demands for $5 billion to start erecting a border wall with Mexico

    US Politicians' Attempts to Address Border Devolve into ‘Political Theater'

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    US President Donald Trump's national address and the response from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on Tuesday highlight that officials on both sides of the political divide are putting on a show for the American people, Jacqueline Luqman, the co-editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation, told Sputnik.

    "This is just all political theater on both political parties, and sadly federal workers and the American people are being held hostage by all of these people so they can score political points," Luqman told Radio Sputnik's Loud & Clear on Wednesday.

    ​In his speech from the Oval Office, Trump took the opportunity to lay out the case for his requested $5.6 billion worth of funding for his vision of a wall along the US-Mexico border.

    Describing the situation at the US' southern border as a "humanitarian crisis, a crisis of the heart and a crisis of the soul," Trump posed that building the wall would prevent criminals from entering the US, help put a stop to the opioid crisis and, of course, generally stop illegal immigration.

    When it came time for Pelosi and Schumer's turn at the bat, both Democratic leaders focused on knocking down Trump in an effort to discredit his arguments for the wall.

    "Sadly, much of what we've heard from President Trump throughout this senseless shutdown has been full of misinformation and even malice — the president has chosen fear," Pelosi said before noting how POTUS previously indicated that Mexico would be the one footing the bill for his beloved border wall.

    "The fact is, President Trump has chosen to hold hostage critical services for the health, safety and well-being of American people, and withhold the paycheck of 800,000 innocent workers, many of them veterans."

    For Luqman, the Democratic Party has repeatedly been dropping the ball by failing to address "any of the lies that Donald Trump tells in anything he says."

    "It was nine minutes of my life that sadly I cannot get back; it was a very painful nine minutes to sit there and watch him lie the way he did," Luqman told hosts John Kiriakou and Nicole Roussell.

    "This whole thing about a terrorist intercepted at the southern border — that's not true, but there have been suspected people intercepted at the Canadian border, and it's very interesting that we're not calling for a wall between us and Canada."

    "And then there's the ridiculous issue of trying to tie the heroin/opioid crisis with the immigrant non-crisis at the border, when the fact of the matter is, most of the illegal drugs that come into the country come through… legal border crossing checkpoints through vehicles, and also by planes and shipping ports," she stressed.

    According to US Customs and Border Protection, during the first 11 months of fiscal year 2018, some 90 percent of heroin, 88 percent of cocaine, 87 percent of methamphetamine and 80 percent of fentanyl seized by the agency were confiscated at legal ports of entry.

    "This whole idea of a wall to keep drugs out of the country is ridiculous, and… it would have been an easy substantive argument to make, but the Democrats, Pelosi and Schumer, stood there and were the disappointed parents," Luqman said.

    If lawmakers were truly concerned about tackling immigration matters in the US, they should take a gander at the numbers of visa overstays in the US, which amounted to nearly 600,000 in 2017, she told Roussell.

    "But they were from primarily European countries, so I guess we're okay with those undocumented immigrants, but not the brown ones coming from across the southern border."

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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