And the more than 3,000 “special interest aliens” who have been stopped at the southwest border refers to people who come from countries that have exported terrorism or who exhibit travel patterns “that indicates a possible nexus to nefarious activity,” according to the Department of Homeland Security. A recent analysis from the libertarian Cato Institute found that of 45,000 “special interest aliens” caught at the border since 2007, none has committed terrorist attacks.
How will Democrats respond?
So far, Democrats have been highly unified in their opposition to Mr. Trump’s wall proposal. Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California has called it immoral. Instead, Democrats have demanded that the president immediately end the shutdown and allow Congress to pass funding legislation to keep the government functioning. Only then will they allow a debate on border security.
After television networks agreed to air the president’s speech, Ms. Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, demanded that their side be given time.
To further dramatize his case for a border wall, Mr. Trump is set to head to Texas border with Mexico on Thursday.
According to The Monitor of McAllen, Tex., the president’s trip would come about a month before border wall construction in the area would begin, relying on previously appropriated funding. The construction could affect several environmentally sensitive areas. Representative Vicente Gonzalez, Democrat of Texas, told the newspaper that a border wall was not the answer.
“I would remind the president that there are 7,500 open positions with Customs and Border Protection that have not been filled, and that this should be their top priority,” Mr. Gonzalez said in a statement Monday.
“With updated resources, technology and more Border Patrol agents, Customs officers and agriculture inspectors, we can keep this nation prosperous and protect our citizens from those who wish to harm us,” he said.
The crime rate in the city of McAllen has been generally in decline for nearly 30 years.