Trump Touts Importance of Border Wall as First Line of Defense Against Criminals

By Melanie Arter | March 13, 2018 | 9:56 PM EDT


( - During a visit to San Diego, Calif., to look at border wall prototypes, President Donald Trump said that a border wall is the first line of defense against criminals and terrorists that try to infiltrate the country on a daily basis.

“But the border wall is truly our first line of defense, and it's probably, if you think about it, our first and last, other than the great ICE agents and other people -- moving people out. It will save thousands and thousands of lives, save taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars by reducing crime, drug flow, welfare fraud, and burdens on schools and hospitals. The wall will save hundreds of billions of dollars -- many, many times what it's going to cost,” Trump said.

The president talked about the importance of taking on sanctuary cities, whose policies put the nation at risk, because criminals take refuge there and make it dangerous for law enforcement.

“We must also close the deadly loopholes exploited by smugglers and traffickers, and we're in that area. We're in one of the many areas along the border where we have that problem, and we have to confront the dangerous sanctuary cities, which you've been all hearing so much about,” he said.

“California sanctuary policies put the entire nation at risk. They're the best friend of the criminal. That's what exactly is happening. The criminals take refuge in these sanctuary cities, and it's very dangerous for our police and enforcement folks,” Trump said.

“The smugglers, the traffickers, the gang members, they're all taking refuge, and I think a lot of people in California understand that. A lot of people from a lot of other places understand it, and they don’t want sanctuary cities,” the president said.

“These policies release dangerous criminal offenders to prey on innocent people and nullify the federal law. They're threatening the security and the safety of the people of our country,” he said. “In the upcoming omnibus budget bill, Congress must fund the border wall and prohibit grants to sanctuary jurisdictions that threaten the security of our country and the people of our country. We must enforce our laws and protect our people.

When asked whether he would veto a budget bill with no punishment for sanctuary cities, Trump said, “We're going to see. We're going to look at it. We're looking at it very, very strongly. Sanctuary cities are protecting a horrible group of people, in many cases -- criminals. And what happened, as an example, in Oakland was a disgrace to our nation, and we just can't let that happen.”

Trump visited eight Southwest border wall prototypes while in San Diego. Construction of the prototypes were completed in late October 2017. Each of them stand about 30 feet high. Four were made of concrete, and four were made up of other materials. The prototypes were assessed on a range of characteristics, including: anti-breaching capabilities, anti-climbing capabilities, impedance and denial of traffic, and Border Patrol agent safety.


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