Watch: Growing humanitarian, security crisis at our southern border, says Trump in televised address

Trump demands $5.7 billion for steel barrier on Mexico border Photograph:( AFP )

WION Web Team Washington, DC, USA Jan 09, 2019, 07.44 AM (IST)

In a televised address to the nation, US President Trump said today that US-Mexico border situation was a "growing crisis" while demanding $5.7 billion for steel barrier on the Mexico border from Democrats.

"There is a growing humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border," the president said during his address from the Oval Office, adding that every day US Customs and border patrol agents "encounter thousands of illegal immigrants trying to enter our country."

Trump said the Mexico border wall was "absolutely critical to border security."

"As part of an overall approach to border security, law enforcement professionals have requested $5.7 billion for a physical barrier," Trump asserted during his address to the nation.

Although reports said Trump would be declaring a state of national emergency, however, the US president did not mention it during his address.

"America proudly welcomes millions of lawful immigrants who enrich our society and contribute to our nation. But all Americans are hurt by uncontrolled illegal migration. It strains public resources, and drives down jobs and wages. Among those hardest hit are African-Americans and Hispanic Americans," the US president said.

Trump's addressed the nation as the country entered the seventeenth day of the partial shutdown with several US departments closed since December 21st.

"In the last two years, ICE officers made 266,000 arrests of aliens with criminal records, including those charged or convicted of 100,000 assaults; 30,000 sex crimes and 4,000 violent killings," Trump said, adding,"over the years, thousands of Americans have been brutally killed by those who illegally entered our country, and thousands of more lives will be lost if we don't act right now."

"This is a humanitarian crisis - a crisis of the heart and a crisis of the soul."

"Last month, 20,000 migrant children were illegally brought into the United States - a dramatic increase. These children are used as human pawns, by vicious coyotes and ruthless gangs. One in three women are sexually assaulted on the dangerous trek up through Mexico. Women and children are the biggest victims by far of our broken system," President Trump declared.

"This is the tragic reality of illegal immigration on our southern border. This is the cycle of human suffering that I am determined to end," he asserted.

"When I took office, I swore to protect this country and that is what I will always do," Trump said as he closed his address.

Just after President Trump's televised address got over, Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi in an another televised address said that Trump must stop holding America "hostage over shutdown".

"President Trump must stop holding the American people hostage, must stop manufacturing a crisis, and must re-open the government," Pelosi said.