WASHINGTON D.C. (FOX 2) - Ready to make his case on prime-time TV, President Donald Trump is stressing humanitarian as well as security concerns at the U.S.-Mexico border as he tries to convince America he must get funding for his long-promised border wall before ending a partial government shutdown that has hundreds of thousands of federal workers facing missed paychecks.
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Trump is delivering his first Oval Office address Tuesday night, and then visiting the southern border on Thursday, as he tries to put pressure on resistant Democrats. Trump's evening remarks will be followed by a televised rebuttal from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who strongly oppose the wall and have repeatedly called on Trump to reopen the rest of government while border negotiations continue.
Trump and his administration have been discussing the idea of declaring a national emergency , among other options, to allow him to move forward with the wall without Congress approving the more than $5 billion he wants. But Trump was not expected to make that declaration Tuesday night, said two people familiar with the White House plans, who spoke on condition of anonymity. As always with Trump, he could change course before the speech.
Trump and other administration officials have been trying to make the case that the situation at the border has reached a crisis point, both on national security and humanitarian grounds. Two children have died in border custody, and an influx of families is straining health care and immigration services for asylum-seekers .