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Partisan divide marks Michigan's congressional reaction to President's border speech

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

Partisan division marked Michigan’s congressional delegation’s reaction to the President’s call Tuesday evening for a wall along the nation’s border with Mexico.

President Donald Trump said in an Oval Office address that there is a "growing humanitarian and security crisis" at the U.S.-Mexico border, though crossings have fallen in recent years.
The president said all Americans are hurt by uncontrolled illegal immigration. He cited crimes committed by immigrants in the U.S. illegally to make his case for a southern border wall. Studies over several years have found immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than people born in the United States.

Trump asserts that the government remains shut down because Democrats won't fund border security.

In the Democratic response,  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the president has "chosen fear" in making the case to the American people for the border wall and Democrats "want to start with the facts."

Pelosi said Tuesday night in a rebuttal to President Donald Trump's Oval Office address that "we all agree that we need to secure our borders."   

She noted that the House passed legislation to reopen the government on the first day of the new Congress. But Trump rejects that legislation because it doesn't have funding for his border wall.

Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Tipton) tweeted after the speech that the president’s message was clear that “safeguarding our southern border is imperative to national security.”

But Michigan Democrats disagreed.

Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Southfield) tweeted, “Trump uses fear, NOT facts to justify hurting millions of Americans for his wall.”

The ongoing partial federal government shutdown was a main talking point for Democrats.

Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint) said in a written statement, “It is shameful that the President is using our nation’s public servants, including thousands of workers in Michigan, as pawns in a political game.”

On his twitter feed, Rep. Justin Amash (R-Cascade Township) summed up the night, simply saying, “Nobody convinced anybody.”

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting.
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