Trump: Americans Cannot Succeed in ‘an Environment of Lawless Chaos’

By Melanie Arter | February 28, 2017 | 10:40pm EST
President Donald Trump (AP Photo)

( - President Donald Trump told a joint session of Congress Tuesday that the government has an obligation to protect its citizens but that they cannot succeed in “an environment of lawless chaos,” so his administration will “restore integrity and the rule of law to its borders.”

“My administration has answered the pleas of the American people for immigration enforcement and border security. By finally enforcing our immigration laws, we will raise wages, help the unemployed, save billions of dollars, and make our communities safer for everyone. We want all Americans to succeed, but that can't happen in an environment of lawless chaos. We must restore integrity and the rule of law to our borders,” he said.

He asked addressed those in Congress “who do not believe we should enforce our laws,” asking them, “what would you say to the American family that loses their jobs, their income, or a loved one, because America refused to uphold its laws and defend its borders?”

“To protect our citizens, I have directed the Department of Justice to form a task force on reducing violent crime. I have further ordered the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice, along with the Department of State and the director of national intelligence, to coordinate an aggressive strategy to dismantle the criminal cartels that have spread across our nation,” the president said.

Not only will he stop the drugs from pouring into the U.S., Trump said he plans to expand drug treatment for addicts.

Construction of the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border will begin “soon,” he said. “It will be started ahead of schedule, and when finished, it will be a very effective weapon against drugs and crime.”

“As we speak, we are removing gang members, drug dealers and criminals that threaten our communities and prey on our citizens. Bad ones are going out as I speak tonight and as I have promised,” he said.

“Our obligation is to serve, protect, and defend the citizens of the United States. We are also taking strong measures to protect our nation from radical Islamic terrorism,” Trump said.

He pointed to data from the Justice Department that shows “the vast majority of individuals convicted for terrorism-related offenses since 9/11 came here from outside of our country.”

“We have seen the attacks at home -– from Boston to San Bernardino to the Pentagon and yes, even the World Trade Center,” he said. “It is not compassionate, but reckless to allow uncontrolled entry from places where proper vetting cannot occur. Those given the high honor of admission to the United States should support this country and love its people and its values.

“We cannot allow a beachhead of terrorism to form inside America. We cannot allow our nation to become a sanctuary for extremists,” Trump said.

“That is why my administration has been working on improved vetting procedures, and we will shortly take new steps to keep our nation safe and to keep out those who would do us harm,” he added.

“As promised, I directed the Department of Defense to develop a plan to demolish and destroy ISIS -- a network of lawless savages that have slaughtered Muslims and Christians, and men, women, and children of all faiths and beliefs. We will work with our allies, including our friends and allies in the Muslim world, to extinguish this vile enemy from our planet,” Trump said.

“I have also imposed new sanctions on entities and individuals who support Iran's ballistic missile program, and reaffirmed our unbreakable alliance with the State of Israel,” he added.

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