President Trump delivered a forceful and fact-challenged televised plea to the nation Tuesday night for his long-promised border wall, declaring “a growing humanitarian and security crisis” at the southern border and blaming congressional Democrats for the partial government shutdown that he helped instigate three weeks ago.Mr Trump insisted on funding for his long-promised US-Mexico border wall.
However, he did not declare an emergency that would enable him to bypass the lower house of Congress now controlled by the opposition Democrats. In a nine and a half-minute, prime-time televised address -- his first from the Oval Office -- Trump said all Americans are hurt by uncontrolled illegal migration because it strains public resources and drives down jobs and wages.
Trump also said the southern border was a pipeline for a vast quantity of illegal drugs, including meth, cocaine, and fentanyl — a drug problem that costs the US $500 billion a year. He says funding a border barrier is a small price to pay to battle such a huge problem.
The president noted that 'women and children are the biggest victims by far of our broken system.'
Democratic leaders accused him of holding the American people hostage.The Republican president wants $5.7bn (£4.5bn) to build a steel barrier, which would deliver on his signature campaign pledge.But Democrats - who recently took control of the House of Representatives - are adamantly opposed to giving him the funds.The ongoing closure of a quarter of federal agencies is the second-longest in history, leaving hundreds of thousands of government workers unpaid.