Trump demands funding to end border 'crisis' in TV address

Trump has made building a wall- like these prototypes seen from Tijuana

Trump has made building a wall- like these prototypes seen from Tijuana

President Donald Trump will tell Americans in a primetime speech Tuesday that the US-Mexico border is in "crisis" and Congress must approve construction of a wall to end a government shutdown now in its 18th day.

"We're going to continue to carry that case forward until the Democrats in Congress come to the table and start negotiating, not just to end the government shutdown but to address what is an undeniable crisis at our southern border".

Trump's remarks from the White House will also aim to shore up support among Republican lawmakers, who are wary of potential backlash from the public as the effects of the shutdown intensify. However, such a step would likely face an immediate legal challenges. About a quarter of USA agencies have been shut down since last month and hundreds of thousands of government workers are likely to miss pay checks this week. Some say Trump's hardline policies are slowing processing for migrants, creating an overwhelming bottleneck at the border.

Some argue that this is a way out of the impasse, as it could free Trump to build the wall and therefore to lift his blocking of the wider government funding.

Sen John Thune of South Dakota, the GOP whip, said he doesn't think the emergency declaration is the right move and "I prefer that we get this resolved the old-fashioned way".

In recent years, the border has seen many more Central American families and unaccompanied children turning up - sometimes in caravans of thousands of people - to seek asylum and the government does not have the facilities to take care of them. It could potentially unlock military dollars for building the wall.

Democrats, meanwhile, have demanded equal time, so networks will also air a rebuttal by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY). However, Democrats have called it a humanitarian crisis, while the Trump administration has framed it as an issue of national security, according to the New York Times.

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Mr Trump will follow up with a rare trip to the Mexico border itself on Thursday.

Over the weekend, Trump threatened to declare a national state of emergency in order to use still-unspecified presidential "emergency powers" to force a border wall to be built.

The Republican president wants $5.7bn (£4.5bn) to build a steel barrier, which would deliver on his signature campaign pledge, but Democrats are adamantly opposed to giving him the funds.

Tonight - and throughout this debate and his presidency - President Trump has appealed to fear, not facts.

Harrowing tales are starting to emerge from the fallout due to the shutdown, including airport security workers calling in sick because they have not been paid and therefore can not make it to work.

Some two dozen Republicans are expected to cross over this week and vote for the Democratic bills to re-open government, said a GOP aide who was not authorized to speak publicly.

He noted that the proposal drafted afterwards by the White House included what the other side had asked for, but said Democrats were not willing to negotiate while the government remains closed. But even if blocked, Mr Trump could claim to his base that he had done what he could, while ending the damaging government shutdown.

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