- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 9, 2019

President Trump on Wednesday waved off Democrats’ claims of support for more security measures at border ports of entry, saying illegal immigrants and criminals mostly enter through long stretches of wilderness on the U.S.-Mexico border.

“They don’t come in through checkpoints. They come through areas where you have hundreds of miles without walls and without barrier or without strong fences,” Mr. Trump said on Capitol Hill.

Mr. Trump made the remarks after a meeting to rally Senate Republicans as the government shutdown continued for the 19th day.

He refused to back down from his demand for $5.7 billion for border security, including a wall or barrier on the southern border, that is at the heart of the standoff with Capitol Hill Democrats.

The border wall was one of Mr. Trump’s top campaign promises, and Democrats have dug in to oppose spending to construct any new barriers on the southern border.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday responded to Mr. Trump’s prime-time address to the country about the crisis at the border by saying everyone agrees on the need for border security, just not a wall.

“We can build the infrastructure and roads at our ports of entry; we can install new technology to scan cars and trucks for drugs coming into our nation; we can hire the personnel we need to facilitate trade and immigration at the border; we can fund more innovation to detect unauthorized crossings,” said Mrs. Pelosi, California Democrat.

At the Capitol, the president said hardening ports of entry was not enough.

“We need a barrier to stop the human traffickers and the drug trade and stop all the big problems that come in,” Mr. Trump said.

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