Published: Tue, January 08, 2019
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Trump to visit US-Mexico border this week amid government shutdown

Trump to visit US-Mexico border this week amid government shutdown

Eastern time after Trump said he planned to address the country "on the humanitarian and national security crisis at our southern border".

ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC all confirmed Monday they would carry the president's speech at 9 p.m.

Opposition Democrats have refused Trump's demand for wall funding, but offered $1.3 billion in new spending for border security.

Bill Shine, the deputy chief of staff for communications, was set to meet with aides Monday afternoon to discuss the address.

The minority party is usually granted time after major addressed such as a state of the union speech, though reactions to short presidential addresses to the nation are usually less structured. One source said negotiations can not move forward in a meaningful way, unless the president signals he will accept less than the $5.7 billion he is demanding for his proposed border structure, describing the White House as "dug in".

The President's decision to deliver a prime-time address and visit the southern border came after some of his allies warned him his arguments about immigration aren't resonating, according to two people familiar with the matter. It includes Trump's $5.7 billion border barrier demand.

But Democrats have made clear that they object to the wall itself, not how it's constructed.

Border wall prototypes stand in San Diego near the Mexico-U.S. border, seen from Tijuana, Dec. 22, 2018. That shutdown exemption would break from the practice of earlier administrations and could be challenged.

A trip to the border has always been planned, and was tentatively slated at one point to occur last week.

"I may declare a national emergency dependent on what's going to happen over the next few days", Trump told reporters as he left the White House for Camp David.

"Should we ask Nancy Pelosi about removing the walls that we already have on the border?" he asked.

If the standoff continues into the weekend, it will be the longest shutdown in recent history.

Adding to concerns, federal workers might miss this week's paychecks.

Trump has tasked Pence during the shutdown fight to negotiate with Democrats, including during talks over the weekend with Democratic staffers.

White House officials affirmed Trump's funding request in a letter to Capitol Hill after a meeting Sunday with senior congressional aides led by Vice President Mike Pence at the White House complex yielded little progress.

"Declaring a national emergency to build the wall would be an abuse of emergency powers", said Elizabeth Goitein, co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice.

Migrants run as tear gas is thrown by U.S. Border Protection officers to the Mexican side of the border fence after they climbed the fence to get to San Diego, California, from Tijuana, Mexico, Jan. 1, 2019.

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