US President Donald Trump said in a televised address on Tuesday that a wall along the US border with Mexico is a critical part of border security and was needed to break a cycle of illegal immigration from Latin America that hurts mainly women and children.
Trump’s remarks came 18 days into a partial government shutdown precipitated by his demand for wall construction, which he has said is needed to keep out illegal immigrants and drugs. He, however, stopped short of declaring a national emergency, as many feared, that could have led to unilaterally funding the project.
He urged Congress to give him $5.7 billion this year to help build a wall on the border with Mexico. But after days of hinting that he might use his presidential powers to declare an emergency as a first step toward directing money for the wall without congressional approval, Trump appeared to be willing instead to continue seeking a solution to the impasse with Congress.