Trump’s First Pillar of National Security: Build the Border Wall

By Terence P. Jeffrey | December 18, 2017 | 4:24 PM EST

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( - In both his National Security Strategy released today and the speech he delivered at the Ronald Reagan Building explaining it, President Donald Trump said the United States will build a wall along the southern border as part of the first pillar of his plan, which focuses on protecting the American homeland and way of life.

“We will secure our borders through the construction of a border wall, the use of multilayered defenses and advanced technology, the employment of additional personal and other measures,” said the president’s formal strategy document.

He reiterated the point in his speech.

“First, we must protect the American people, the homeland and our great American way of life,” Trump said. “This strategy recognizes that we cannot secure our nation if we do not secure our borders.


"So, for the first time ever, American strategy now includes a serious plan to defend our homeland," said Trump. "It calls for the construction of a wall on out southern border, ending chain migration and the horrible visa and lottery programs, closing loopholes that undermine enforcement, and strongly supporting our Border Patrol agents, ICE officers, and Homeland Security Personnel.”

Trump also criticized politicians in Washington, D.C., whom he said left the nation’s borders open even as the American people objected to what they were doing.

“Over the profound objections of the American people, our politicians left our borders wide open,” Trump said.

“Millions of immigrants entered illegally, millions more were admitted into our country without the proper vetting needed to protect our security and our economy,” he said.

“Leaders in Washington imposed on the country an immigration policy that Americans never voted for, never asked for, and never approved,” Trump said. “A policy where the wrong people are allowed into our country and the right people are rejected.

“American citizens, as usual, have been left to bear the costs and pick up the tab,” he said.

While calling for securing the border itself, Trump’s National Security Strategy also seeks “enhanced vetting of prospective immigrants,” enforcing the immigration laws “in the interior” of the country, and enhancing “the security of the pathways through which people and goods enter the country.”

“Pillar 1” of the president’s National Security Strategy is titled “Protect the American People, the Homeland, and the American Way of Life.”

Other elements of this pillar, beyond building the border wall and enforcing the immigration laws, include actions to defend the United States against weapons of mass destruction and biothreats, to defeat jihadist terrorists, to dismantle transnational criminal organizations that bring drugs into the United States, and to defend against cyberattacks.

It also calls for promoting America’s ability to “withstand and recover rapidly from deliberate attacks, accidents, natural disasters, as well as unconventional stresses, shocks and threats to our economy and democratic system.”


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