President Donald Trump says in an Oval Office address that there is a "growing humanitarian and security crisis" at the U.S.-Mexico border, though crossings have fallen in recent years.
The president said tonight that all Americans are hurt by uncontrolled illegal immigration. He says it strains public resources and drives down jobs and wages.
The president says among those hit hardest by illegal immigration are African-Americans and Hispanics, though he did not provide any evidence to back that up.
The president is trying to convince Americans that the flow of immigrants into the U.S. illegally at the southern border is a crisis as he fights with Democrats in Congress over money to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
He asserts that the government remains shut down because Democrats won't fund border security.
House Democrats have passed a plan to re-open the government without funding Trump's promised border wall, but the Republican-led Senate has so far declined to take it up.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he won't take up funding bills without Trump's support.
Earlier today, the No. 2 House Democrat is blaming President Donald Trump for the partial government shutdown and says Trump is holding the government "hostage."
Maryland Democrat Steny Hoyer says Tuesday that "in another context, we would call that an act of kidnapping or terrorism."
Hoyer says it would be akin to an imposition of martial law if Trump declares a national emergency in order to unilaterally build a Southwest border wall. He says Trump doesn't have that authority and doing that "certainly could" be an abuse of power.
Hoyer compares it to other governments "declaring martial law and justifying them in doing whatever they want to do."
Democrats are refusing to give Trump $5.7 billion to build the wall. The impasse has led to a partial government shutdown, now in its third week.