WASHINGTON, D.C. (NBC News / AP) - Watch live coverage as President Trump addresses the nation on immigration issues facing the country and the ongoing government shutdown.
Image Source: Shealah Craighead / The White House / MGN
The Latest on President Donald Trump and the partial government shutdown (all times local):
Congressman Ralph Abraham issued the following statement in response to President Trump's address to the nation regarding the urgent need for increased border security:
"President Trump is on point and on target: This is both a humanitarian and national security crisis. Women and children are being harmed and killed daily by the human traffickers. More than 90 percent of the heroin and meth comes through the southern border, and these drugs are killing 300 Americans a week. Thousands of criminals, terrorists, and gang members have been arrested, but some slip through without a wall to stop them. Republicans and President Trump want to stop the madness taking place on the border. Why won’t the Democrats help? Walls work!" Dr. Abraham said.
President Donald Trump has argued that building a southern border wall would be an act of "love."
The President suggested that other people build walls "not because they hate the people outside but because they love the people inside."
He has previously claimed that the Vatican and former President Barack Obama built walls for security. There is not a wall around Obama's Washington home.
The debate over funding for the barrier has been at the center of a partial federal government shutdown. Trump initially vowed that Mexico would pay for the border wall.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said President Donald Trump should reopen the government while talks continue over the U.S.-Mexico border wall because there's "no excuse for hurting millions of Americans."
Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivered the Democratic response to Trump's Oval Office address Tuesday.
Schumer said Democrats and Republicans agree on the need to secure borders. But the New York Democrat said the "symbol of America should be the Statue of Liberty, not a 30-foot wall."
Schumer noted that Trump had promised to have Mexico pay for the wall. But he said having failed, Trump is now "unable to convince Congress or the American people to foot the bill."
Schumer said, "American democracy doesn't work that way. We don't govern by temper tantrum."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the president has "chosen fear" in making the case to the American people for the border wall and Democrats "want to start with the facts."
Pelosi said Tuesday night in a rebuttal to President Donald Trump's Oval Office address that "we all agree that we need to secure our borders."
She noted that the House passed legislation to reopen government on the first day of the new Congress. Trump rejected that legislation because it doesn't have funding for his border wall.
She said: "The fact is: President Trump must stop holding the American people hostage, must stop manufacturing a crisis, and must reopen the government."
President Donald Trump said in his Oval Office address that there is a "growing humanitarian and security crisis" at the U.S.-Mexico border, though crossings have fallen in recent years.
The president said Tuesday night that all Americans are hurt by uncontrolled illegal immigration. He said it strains public resources and drives down jobs and wages.
The president said among those hit hardest by illegal immigration are African-Americans and Hispanics.
The president is trying to convince Americans that the flow of immigrants into the U.S. illegally at the southern border is a crisis.
He asserted that the government remains shut down because Democrats won't fund border security.