Mexico Border Situation "Growing Crisis": Trump In Prime-Time Address

US President Donald Trump paints the Mexico border as an open gate for criminals including rapists terrorists people with dangerous diseases and phony asylum seekers

Before the speech, Trump dispatched Vice-President Mike Pence to Capitol Hill, where he urged House Republicans to "stand strong" in support and said the White House wants to negotiate, according to people familiar with the conversation.

All major USA television networks agreed to broadcast Trump's speech, prompting the Democrats to seek equal air time.

Cable news networks, including CNN, Fox News and MSNBC, will also show the response, amid concerns that Trump would use the bully pulpit to make unsubstantiated claims and would need to be extensively fact checked. On NBC on Monday night, Seth Meyers said on "Late Night" that in airing his speech, the networks were "just passing on his lies unfiltered". "Tuesday night at 9:00 P.M. Eastern".

Donald Trump is set to use the first Oval Office address of his presidency to portray a national security "crisis" on the US-Mexico border and demand billions of dollars for a wall, arguably the central promise of his short political career.

"There is a growing humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border", Trump said in a rare live Oval Office address to the nation, adding that every day US Customs and Border Patrol agents "encounter thousands of illegal immigrants trying to enter our country".

The president was trying to convince Americans that the flow of immigrants into the U.S. illegally at the southern border was a crisis.

Trump is scheduled to visit the southwest border on Thursday and it was not clear whether he still might choose to make the national emergency declaration.

During the campaigning he pledged Mexico would pay for the wall, but since taking office he has been unable to achieve this, and is now attempting to use U.S. taxpayer funds to the tune of US$5.7 billion (NZ$8.5b).

"Now that the television networks have made a decision 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", Pelosi and Schumer said in a joint statement.

However, in his address, Trump appeared to be willing instead to continue seeking a solution to the impasse with Congress.

Democratic leaders in the House and Senate released a joint statement saying the speech would be misleading and demanding airtime to counter Mr Trump's arguments.

Critics pointed out that the networks aired President George W. Bush's prime-time address on immigration in 2006, but did not air one by President Barack Obama in 2014. Initially, Trump insisted Mexico would pay for the boarder wall. "But all Americans are hurt by uncontrolled illegal migration".

The Democratic leaders were due to give on-air rebuttals immediately after Mr Trump's speech.

"At the request of Democrats, it will be a steel barrier rather than a concrete wall".

Mr Trump rattled off a number of grisly murders by illegal immigrants to justify the funding.

Len Saunders, an immigration lawyer based near the border in Blaine, Wash., said those border guards - many of whom are supportive of the president's border-security efforts - may soon stop showing up for work as they begin to feel the shutdown's financial impact.

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