Donald Trump's Prime-time Immigration Address
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Donald Trump's Prime-time Immigration Address occurred on January 8th, 2019. In his speech, President Trump spoke directly to United States citizens on several major networks about the 2018-19 government shutdown over immigration and what he referred to as a "humanitarian crisis" at the U.S.-Mexico border, making the case of his promised border wall. His nine-minute speech was widely accused of containing several misleading statements and falsehoods. Following the speech, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer rebutted the speech on the same networks.
On January 8th, 2019, during a government shutdown, which began because President Trump refused to fund the government without $5 billion for the southern border wall, Trump delivered a speech from the Oval Office about what he called a "humanitarian crisis" at the United States southern borderer.  The speech aired on several networks, including NBC, ABC, CBS and more.
Following the speech, Democrats refuted Trump's statements. In their rebuttal, Pelosi and Schumer called Trump's wall an "immorality" and said that Trump was holding the American government and the American people "hostage" over this border wall. Schumer said that Trump used the Oval Office address to "manufacturer a crisis, stoke fear and divert attention from the turmoil in his administration."
Following the speech, many outlets fact-checked the president. Politico said, "President Donald Trump made several false or misleading statements about illegal immigration and border security in a nationally televised speech Tuesday evening." Among these false statements, Politico reported, that there is no crisis at the southern border. They wrote:
Trump: "I am speaking to you because there is a growing and humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border. Every day Customs and Border Patrol agents encounter thousand of illegal immigrants trying to enter our country. We are out of space to hold them and we have no way to promptly return them back home to their country."
The notion that the number of illegal border crossings represent a "crisis" is not true. The number of people caught crossing at the border (the standard metric for determining the volume of illegal crossings generally) remains below that of annual levels under President Barack Obama and far below the high levels of the 1990s and early 2000s. Border Patrol arrested 396,579 people at the U.S.-Mexico border in fiscal year 2018. The agency arrested an average of 400,751 people per year over the previous decade.
The New York Times refuted Trump's claim that "Every week 300 of our citizens are killed by heroin alone, 90 percent of which floods across our southern border." They wrote, "Most heroin smuggled into the United States does come through the southwest border, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration’s latest National Drug Threat Assessment report. But most of it is smuggled into the United States through legal ports of entry at the southern border, not through the desert, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration’s 2018 annual drug threat assessment."
Meanwhile, CBS fact-checked several parts of the speech, which included a section on Trump's claim that one in three woman were sexually assaulted while traveling to the border (shown below). The section was subsequently removed from the article.
The speech inspired discussion on several subreddits, including /r/The_Donald and /r/politics.
Many online fact-checked the president in real-time on Twitter. One of the most frequently checked claims was that the government was shut down because "Democrats will not fund border security." Twitter user @ActorAaronBooth tweeted a quote from President Trump, "I will shut down the government… I am proud to shut down the government… I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down.” -@realDonaldTrump, 12/11/2018." The tweet received more than 1,700 retweets and 4,300 likes in 24 hours (shown below, left).
Others noted that Trump's claims of a "crisis" at the border are unfounded. Toronto Star Washington correspondent Daniel Dale tweeted during the speech, "Most of the heroin Trump is talking about comes through legal ports of entry, not through unwalled areas." The tweet received more than 8,500 retweets and 30,000 likes in 24 hours (shown below, center).
Some criticized both sides for restating their positions that triggered the shutdown. Politico's John Bresnahan tweeted, "Nothing new from either side. Shutdown heads into Day 19." The tweet received more than 150 retweets and 675 likes in 24 hours (shown below, right).
Virtually every media outlet covered the speech and the rebuttal, including The New York Times,  Politico, NBC, The Washington Post, Time, Reuters, Newsweek and more.
Chuck Schumer Standing with Nancy Pelosi
Chuck Schumer Standing with Nancy Pelosi refers to images of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi delivering a rebuttal following a national address by President Donald Trump about the government shut down and situation at the American and Mexican border. Twitter users joked that the pair looked like disapproving parents and made photoshops of the image.
 The New York Times – Trump’s Speech to the Nation: Fact Checks and Background
 The New York Times – Democrats Focus on Shutdown’s Cost and Steer Away From Trump’s Wall
 Politico – Fact check: Trump’s speech on border ‘crisis’
 Twitter – @ActorAaronBooth's Tweet
 Twitter – @ddale8's Tweet
 Twitter – @BresPolitico's Tweet
 Reddit – WATCH PARTY: President Trump Addresses the Nation on Immigration and Border Security
 Reddit – Special Discussion: President Trump’s Address on Border Security and the Democratic Response | 01/08/2019 – 9:00pm EST
 Reddit – [Megathread] President Trump’s Address on Border Security and the Democratic Response
 NBC – Fact-checking Trump's address to the nation: President claims 'growing' crisis on southern border
 The Washington Post – Trump’s prime-time address on the border wall shutdown, annotated
 Time – President Trump Urges Wall Funding to Fix the 'Humanitarian Crisis' on the Southern Border
 Reuters – Trump mulls emergency powers ahead of prime-time speech
 Newsweek – Fear, Hatred and un-American: Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Ridicule Trump’s Address
 Archive.is – CBS Factcheck
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