Donald Trump demands $5.7 billion for steel barrier on US-Mexico border

Border wall prototypes stand in San Diego near the Mexico-US border

Border wall prototypes stand in San Diego near the Mexico-US border

It found a almost identical 41% support for a border wall, and that only 25% support Trump's keeping the government closed as a means to secure funding for the wall.

"Over the years, thousands of Americans have been brutally killed by those who illegally entered our country and thousands more lives will be lost if we don't act right now", Trump said.

Schumer says Democrats and Republicans agree on the need to secure borders.

In giving a speech from the Oval Office, Trump was drawing on an often-used tactic of communication by his predecessors.

All the major TV networks, and some cable ones, have now chose to televise a Tuesday address by Donald Trump concerning border security and "the wall". And even if it did, it hasn't even been passed by Congress yet.

Mr Trump correctly pointed out that Democrats have in the past supported a physical barrier.

Democrats passed legislation the day they took control of the House that offered $1.3 billion for border security, including physical barriers and technology along the USA southern border.

"How much more American blood will be shed before Congress does its job?" he asked.

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The government has been partly shuttered since December 22, when Mr. Trump announced he would not sign a funding bill that did not contain wall funding.

Democrats have not requested a steel barrier. In fact, data from the Cato Institute looking at Texas, one of the states most affected by immigration at the U.S. -Mexico border, found that native-born Americans are convicted of more crimes than undocumented immigrants and documented immigrants. There is bipartisan legislation - supported by Democrats and Republicans - to re-open government while allowing debate over border security to continue.

During the Democratic rebuttal delivered following Trump's speech, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer pointed out that much of the "crisis" at the southern border has been manufactured by Trump's administration-and Democrats have largely been the ones scrambling to stop the disaster. But that legislation didn't authorize the kind of wall Trump has always been advocating since he launched his campaign.

Multiple studies from social scientists and the libertarian think-tank Cato Institute have found that people here illegally are less likely to commit crime than US citizens, and legal immigrants are even less likely to do so.

Earlier, President Donald Trump made a televised plea for border wall funding, seeking an edge in the shutdown battle with congressional Democrats as he declared there is "a humanitarian crisis, a crisis of the heart and a crisis of the soul". In a country where 80 percent of people are living paycheck to paycheck, every day could spell catastrophe. "Division, not unity", the NY senator said.

What followed, however, was much of the racist and xenophobic rhetoric we've heard from Trump for the past three and a half years-including the false claims that undocumented immigrants as a whole are unsafe to the United States and that the only solution to questions over our border security is a $5 billion wall. Two sick children recently died in the administration's custody after making the journey to the U.S.

The number of illegal border crossings is down from 1.6 million in 2000 to fewer than 400,000 previous year. Also noteworthy: The contingent of active-duty US troops at the border has been more than halved, dropping from a peak in the fall of about 5,900 to about 2,350 last week. "This is about whether we fulfil our sacred duty to the American citizens we serve", Trump said.

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