WASHINGTON, D.C. (WFSB) -- President Donald Trump is claiming it’s a national security crisis, and on Tuesday he’s set to address the nation and push for a wall along the Mexican border.
However, in Connecticut, local immigrant advocates are not buying it.
“What we hear obviously is the journey was difficult, has been challenging. They’re very happy to be here, very afraid to be here at the same time,” said Daniel Reyes, executive director of Junta for Progressive Action.
For 50 years, the organization has been helping advocate and provide services for greater New Haven’s Latino community.
Reyes said the word of a wall is worrisome.
“Clearly it has a chilling effect for folks,” Reyes said.
On Tuesday night, at 9 p.m., President Trump will give an Oval Office address, which is expected to focus on immigration and what he says is a “humanitarian and national security crisis” along the border.
He recently tweeted out that the wall is coming, saying "we have an absolute crisis and of criminals and gang members coming through. It is national security, it's a national emergency."
However, at Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services, staffers said nearly $6 billion for a wall is not the answer.
“That’s lovely that he’s beginning to identify the fact that there is a humanitarian issue that he’s created on the other side of the border, but we do not have one right now inside of the U.S. There is no national security threat. Those are two very distinct and separate things,” said Ann O’Brien, of Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services.
The showdown over the wall has resulted in a partial government shutdown, forcing hundreds of thousands of federal employees to go without pay, now approaching three weeks.
The president said any deal must include funding for the wall.
“It saddens me to see we’ve devolved so deeply into this situation and that thousands of government workers are being punished as a result of the fact that there was a compromised plan and basically in an effort to appeal to his base, the president is basically using immigrants and federal workers as political footballs,” Reyes said.
You can watch the President’s address, along with the Democratic response on Channel 3 starting at 9 p.m., and the app.