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Trump demands USD 5.7 bln funding for US-Mexico border wall to end growing humanitarian crisis

President Donald Trump Wednesday asked the Democrats to allocate a whopping USD 5.7 billion funding for his controversial US-Mexico border wall plan to halt a "growing humanitarian and security crisis" and cited the cold-blooded murder of an Indian-origin police officer by an illegal immigrant to implement his signature campaign promise.

Trump's remarks during in his maiden prime-time address to the nation from the Oval Office came amid a partial government shutdown that is days away from becoming the longest in US history.

In his eight-minute address carried live by all the major US television networks, Trump said the federal government remained shut because of the Democrats and sought to pressure on them to agree to his request for funding for the wall as a condition of ending the 18-day government shutdown that has crippled many offices.

Trump said illegal immigrants and drugs flowing across the porous southern border with Mexico posed a serious threat to American safety. 

He also tried to ramp up support among Republicans who are getting nervous about government workers and others who are feeling the pain of the shutdown. 

"This is a humanitarian crisis. A crisis of the heart, and a crisis of the soul," Trump said in his eight-minute address.

Noting that America proudly welcomes millions of lawful immigrants who enrich the American society and contribute to the nation, he said all Americans are hurt by uncontrolled, illegal migration. 

Funding for a border wall has been the main sticking point in negotiations with Democrats to reopen parts of the federal government.

A wall along the US-Mexico border was one of Trump's signature campaign promises. Trump wants USD 5.7 billion to build the wall, even though he said repeatedly during his campaign that he would make Mexico pay for the structure. 

The Democrats are refusing to allocate the money, arguing that a wall would be costly and ineffective. Mexico has rejected Trump's demand to pay for the border wall.

 

S - By Lalit K Jha, PTI

 
 
           
 
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