Mexico border situation a 'growing crisis': Donald Trump

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

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

As a partial U.S. government shutdown stretches into its third week, and the White House continues to demand that any bill to reopen federal offices must include funding for a multi-billion-dollar wall along the U.S. -Mexico border, the major U.S. networks have granted President Donald Trump's request for a primetime audience.

Mr Trump did not use his televised speech to declare a national emergency.

"If his past statements are an indication, (the speech) will be full of malice and misinformation", House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the senior Democrat in the Senate, Chuck Schumer, said in a statement.

Trump has reportedly considered declaring the border situation a national emergency, which could enable him to bypass congressional review and build his wall without its approval.

The fact-checking nonprofit PolitiFact, run by the Poynter Institute, said on Twitter that it will live fact-check the president's address Tuesday night. Such a step, however, would likely face an immediate legal challenge. Democrats have reminded the president about his pledge and, therefore, are willing to give him only $2 billion for the border security funding.

CBS said Trump will speak for no longer than eight minutes, The Hill reported.

He also told the group that Trump won't retreat.

The prototypes for Trump's border wall are seen behind the border fence between Mexico and the United States, in Tijuana, Mexico. But now his self-proclaimed deal-making skills are being put to the test.

A partial government shutdown has been in effect for 17 days after lawmakers failed to break a budget impasse.

About 800,000 government workers are either on leave or working without pay.

"The president was asked whether it [the national emergency option] is something he was considering, and he said it is something we are looking at...."

Both Trump and the Democrats have agreed there is a crisis at the border. "The apprehension in the previous year of 17,000 people at our border with previously criminal history". But the number of families coming over the border has risen sharply, putting a strain on health care and immigration services that came into sharp focus with the deaths of two migrant children.

Len Saunders, an immigration lawyer based near the border in Blaine, Wash., said those border guards - many of whom are supportive of the president's border-security efforts - may soon stop showing up for work as they begin to feel the shutdown's financial impact. 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.

Democrats, who ended the Trump presidency's dominance of domestic politics when they seized the House of Representatives from his Republicans in November, cried foul before a word was spoken. But he made no mention of such a declaration in the Wednesday address from the White House.

It will be Trump's first live address to the nation.

In a pre-emptive move, the White House said Monday that tax refunds would be paid despite the shutdown.

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