Border security tops Trump's talk at American Farm Bureau Federation convention

Carol Spaeth-Bauer
Wisconsin State Farmer
President Donald Trump speaks at the American Farm Bureau Federation's 100th Annual Convention, Monday Jan. 14, 2019, in New Orleans.

In his second address at the American Farm Bureau Federation convention President Donald Trump spotlighted the need for a wall to control the "tremendous humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border," on Jan. 14.

Trump went on at length describing the "vicious coyotes" trafficking women and children that come "through our border where we don't have any barriers," "vast quantities of lethal narcotics" that are smuggled into the country hidden in hubcaps and engines, which "comes in through our southern border."

"We're going to get that stopped," Trump told farmers at the 100th annual convention. "We're going to have a barrier. We're going to have a wall, something very strong."

Trump assured farmers he wants people to come into the country "but they have to come in legally, they have to come in through a process."

"The crisis of illegal immigration impacts all Americans, threatening public safety, overwhelming public resources, straining our local schools and hospitals, undermining U.S. workers and claiming countless innocent lives," Trump emphasized. "As president, the defense of our nation is my highest and most important duty."

Trump added that he didn't need the "rough fight" of completing a southern barrier but "when it comes to keeping the American people safe, I will never ever back down."

While military presence at the border has "kept thousands and thousands of people from overrunning various sections of our country," Trump stressed, "We need that barrier." 

"If you don't have a strong steel or concrete barrier, there's no way you're going to stop these people," Trump added. 

Trump recognized that farmers need help on their farms and he vowed to make that easier.

"For the people that have worked the farms, that have been here, that have gone through this very good, but short process, you're going to help our country," said Trump. "It's going to be easier for them to get in than what they have to go through now, so just remember that."

Trump talked about El Paso where a wall went up and it went from being one of the most dangerous cities to the safest. 

Arizona rancher

After spending nearly half of his hour long speech talking about the need for a southern border barrier, Trump asked Jim Chilton, who has a major drug cartel running through his Arizona ranch, to the mic. According to Trump, many of the drug cartel routes were run through San Diego until the wall was built - by Trump - and now they go through Chilton's ranch. 

Trump apologized to Chilton saying, "I think I cost him a lot of money." For years the drug packers damaged his property, injured his livestock and started dozens of fires "which Jim estimates cost him more than $2 million in 2017 alone," Trump said. 

Every time Chilton leaves the ranch, his wife doesn't know if he will return, Trump told the American Farm Bureau crowd. Cameras on his property have captured thousands of images of major drug packers and a border patrol agent was killed on his property last June. 

President Donald Trump watches as jim Chilton, a rancher from the Arizona, speaks at the American Farm Bureau Federation convention in New Orleans, Monday, Jan. 14, 2019.

When asked to come to the stage, Chilton seized the moment saying, "We need a wall all the length of the border. We have to stop the drug packers bringing drugs in to poison our people. And I would say to Speaker Pelosi, walls are not immoral."

Chilton said he's traveled around the world and the biggest wall he's ever seen is around the Vatican. 

"Now you can’t tell me, that the wonderful priests and bishops of the Roman Catholic Church, including the Pope are immoral. They have a wall, why can’t we?" Chilton asked.

Trump blames Democrats for the government shutdown saying they won't fund border security. 

"Democrats will not approve measures needed to keep America safe," said Trump. 

Ag wins

While the border wall occupied much of Trump's attention during his speech, he also pointed out, "On every great front we are fighting for our great farmers, ranchers, growers, fixing broken trade deals that are horrible."

When Trump saw what was going on in Canada, the "horrible" way dairy farmers were treated, "We changed it." 

While the U.S. has seen a continued agricultural decline in trade the past 15 years all over the world, Trump said it's changing now.  

"We're turning all of that around with fair trade deals that put American farmers, ranchers and in fact put America first," Trump said, giving examples of pork trade with Argentina and trade with China, India, Japan and beef trade with Brazil. 

President Donald Trump speaks at the American Farm Bureau Federation's 100th Annual Convention, Monday Jan. 14, 2019, in New Orleans.

Trump talked about opening up new markets and eliminating a record number of regulations, opening up E15 for year-round use and getting the farm bill passed on time for the first time in more than 30 years. 

To keep family farms in families, Trump told the crowd a recent tax bill had "virtually eliminated the estate tax," also known as the death tax.

"If you love your children, you'll like me." Trump said. "If you don't love your children and you weren't going to leave the farm to them, it probably doesn't matter too much."

As Trump closed his speech, he told producers they finally have a government that is loyal to them. 

"We are fighting for the American farmer and we are fighting for the American dream and for the products made and grown with pride right here in the USA," Trump said. "We are defending a cherished legacy and we are preserving a beautiful way of life passed down from mothers and fathers to sons and daughters from generation to generation.

"You are the keepers of this noble tradition. You are the guardians of this majestic heritage," Trump continued. "We are standing up for the men and women who work the fields, till the soil and harvest the land."