Mexico border situation a 'growing crisis': Donald Trump

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Trump and his advisors have maintained he has the ability to declare a national emergency at the border, allowing him to bypass the need for congressional authorization and appropriation of funds.

After Trump speaks, congressional Democratic leaders, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (N.Y.), will be given time for their rebuttal, according to a CNN Tweet.

Would Trump use this address to declare a national emergency and build the wall? Such a step, however, would likely face an immediate legal challenge. It could potentially unlock military dollars for building the wall.

Some argue that this was a way out of the impasse, as it could free Mr Trump to build the wall and therefore to lift his blocking of the wider government funding. The president will be visiting the Southern Border tomorrow morning. "That pickup ain't got reverse in it", he said.

The paper reported it was unlikely Trump would declare a national emergency, citing sources familiar with Trump's planned remarks - although the president has been known to stray from the words put down on paper by aides. 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.

He repeated his demand for US$5.7 billion in funding for a wall on the border with Mexico, but stopped short of calling for a much-touted state of emergency.

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".

Earlier, Vice President Mike Pence told ABC television that Mr Trump would lay out the "real humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border". But critics say the security risks are overblown and the administration is at least partly to blame for the humanitarian situation.

The number of illegal border crossings is down from 1.6 million in 2000 to fewer than 400,000 previous year.

The number of Central American families coming to the border seeking asylum in the US has risen sharply in the past year.

What did President Trump say?

Democrats have said they support increased border security measures such as additional USA border agents and technology, but have rejected the administration's claims about the security risks at the border and have raised concerns that Trump will use his speech to present a false narrative.

"At the request of Democrats, it will be a steel barrier rather than a concrete wall". But he made no mention of such a declaration in the Wednesday address from the White House.

The White House requested eight minutes to make Trump's case on television.

It will be Trump's first live address to the nation. With Trump coverage dominating the airwaves since the 2016 election, the president's offer was one the networks couldn't refuse.

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

"Now that the television networks have chose to air the President's address, which if his past statements are any indication will be full of malice and misinformation, Democrats must immediately be given equal airtime", Schumer and Pelosi said in a joint statement. But GOP leaders believe they can avoid more defections to prevent Pelosi from gaining a veto-proof majority.

There is an obvious solution: separate the shutdown from the arguments over border security. Federal workers still on the job apparently will miss this week's paychecks.

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