President Donald Trump addressed the nation on Friday to announce the end of the government shutdown.
In making that announcement, Trump restated several of the reasons he feels the country needs a border wall and improved border security.
“After 36 days of spirited debate and dialogue, I have seen and heard from enough Democrats and Republicans that they are willing to put partisanship aside,” Trump said during his speech.
Here is a look at five things Trump said and the context needed to fully understand the issues he brought up.
Trump suggested federal workers supported the shutdown
Statement: “I want to thank all of the incredible federal workers and their amazing families who have shown such extraordinary devotion in the face of this recent hardship. You are fantastic people. You are incredible patriots. Many of you have suffered far greater than anyone but your families would know or understand. And not only did you not complain but in many cases, you encouraged me to keep going because you care so much about our country and about its border security.”
Facts: The American Federation of Government Employees sued the Trump administration shortly after the shutdown began. Hundreds of thousands of workers have been furloughed or are on the job without pay during the shutdown.
“Our members put their lives on the line to keep our country safe,” said J. David Cox Sr., the union’s national president. “Requiring them to work without pay is nothing short of inhumane.”
Throughout the entirety of the shutdown, federal employees took to social media to criticize Congress and Trump for the shutdown and ask for an agreement to be reached.
On Friday, FBI Director Christopher Wray told his agents that the five-week government shutdown has been “mind-boggling” and “unfair” days after Adm. Karl Schultz, commandant of the Coast Guard, released a video calling the shutdown “unacceptable” for forcing workers to rely on food pantries and donations.
Trump repeated the idea that walls work
Statement: “They do work. No matter where you go, they work. Israel built a wall, 99.9 percent successful. Won’t be any different for us. They keep criminals out. They save good people from attempting a very dangerous journey from other countries, thousands of miles, because they think they have a glimmer of hope of coming through. With a wall, they don’t have that hope. They keep drugs out, and they dramatically increase efficiency by allowing us to patrol far larger areas with far fewer people. It’s just common sense. Walls work.”
Facts: Several instances of migrants going over existing wall structures or under the border came to light during the shutdown that was entirely about building a wall.
The most recent incident came this week, when a group of mostly Guatemalan asylum seekers breached the U.S.-Mexico border south of Yuma, Ariz., on Monday night, by using a ladder to scale the border fence.
Customs and Border Protection on Wednesday released security-camera footage of the incident on Wednesday involving 118 migrants. About 86 percent of them were families traveling together, the agency said.
The video was released about a week after the largest single group of migrant families and minors ever recorded in the Yuma area tunneled underneath a border fence and voluntarily turned themselves into U.S. Border Patrol agents.
A group of 376 migrants, composed almost overwhelmingly of Guatemalan families and children seeking asylum, breached the U.S.-Mexico border just before noon approximately 4½ miles east of the San Luis, Ariz., commercial port of entry.
That large group tunneled under the border a couple weeks before Mexican law enforcement officials released a video showing a newly discovered tunnel that was found along the border in the area of Nogales, Ariz. It was the third tunnel found in the past couple of months.
Trump talked about women being tied up with their mouths taped shut
Statement: “Human traffickers, the victims are women and children, maybe to a lesser extent, believe it or not, children. Women are tied up, they’re bound, duct tape put around their faces, around their mouths. In many cases they can’t even breathe.”
Facts: During his speech, Trump delivered a winding tale of women being bound and gagged with duct tape while being ferried across unwalled sections of the border in vehicles. When asked about his story, the Department of Homeland Security declined to provide any examples of that happening, calling into question whether such situations have happened in real life.
There are some elements of truth behind the president’s claim. More than two thirds of all Central American migrants have reported being victims of some kind of violence on their journey, and nearly a third of migrant women have reported being sexually assaulted, according to a survey conducted by Doctors Without Borders. Migrants have also reported being kidnapped along the journey as smugglers demand more money from their families or friends.
Sometimes migrants are smuggled into the country through ports of entry in the back of tractor trailers, but recent cases don’t indicate that any of the migrants were bound and gagged. Instead, the trucks are often lined with sleeping mats, water, and ventilation pipes.
But no evidence exists that duct-tape bound women have been smuggled across the border in vehicles.
Trump suggested that a wall would help control the amount of drugs coming across the border
Statement: “Vast quantities of lethal drugs, including meth, fentanyl, heroin and cocaine are smuggled across our Southern border and into U.S. schools and communities.”
Facts: The majority of marijuana caught by U.S. officials along the southwest border is caught between ports of entry. But according to Customs and Border Protection data, the vast majority of hard drugs, such as methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin and fentanyl, which are more potent and deadly, are caught at ports of entry.
Former CBP Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske told USA Today recently that those numbers accurately reflect successful smuggling runs, since cartels have better odds getting through busy ports of entry than the stretches of border in between patrolled by Border Patrol agents.
“It’s very clear that (drugs) come through the ports,” Kerlikowske said.
Trump talked about the ‘health crisis’ on the border
Statement: “The sheer volume of illegal immigration has overwhelmed federal authorities and stretched our immigration system beyond the breaking point. Nearly 50 migrants a day are being referred for medical assistance. They’re very, very sick, making this a health crisis as well. It’s a very big health crisis. People have no idea how big it is unless you’re there.”
Facts: Since a partial government shutdown began on Dec. 22, agents have spent nearly 19,300 hours in hospital visits, according to Customs and Border Protection.
Since Dec. 22, Border Patrol has transported 2,224 migrants they’ve apprehended to local hospitals along the U.S.-Mexico border. That’s roughly 5.3 percent of all apprehensions during that time period, according to the agency.
Customs and Border Protection said in its statement that the hospitalizations have strained Border Patrol resources, “severely limiting their ability to process the large group or respond to other border security duties.”
“Thus resulting in increased time in custody, delaying custody transfer coordination, and inhibiting response to other illegal cross-border traffic,” they added.
However, advocacy groups said the increase in hospitalizations has more to do with the mounting pressure on the Border Patrol after the deaths of Guatemalan children at the border last month.
Following their deaths, U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials mandated secondary medical checks for children in the government’s custody.
Contributing: Louie Villalobos and Alan Gomez of USA TODAY; Josh Susong, Daniel Gonzalez, Dan Nowicki, Michael Squires, and Dennis Wagner of the Arizona Republic