Scripted Trump does little to convince skeptics on border wall

Federal workers rally in Philly to protest shutdown

"America's heart broke the day after Christmas when a young police officer in California was savagely murdered in cold blood by an illegal alien who just came across the border", Trump said.

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

On Tuesday night, the president looked to make his case to the American public that illegal immigrants are bringing drugs and crime into the USA, demanding immediate action to erect barriers at the border and further increase technology to prevent illegal crossings. But he did not mention that Tuesday night.

Trump and White House officials have reportedly been discussing the idea of declaring a national emergency to allow him to move forward with the wall without Congress approving the $5.7bn he is demanding. But critics say the security risks are overblown and the administration is at least partly to blame for the humanitarian situation. They don't build walls because they hate the people on the outside, but because they love the people on the inside.

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Pence says he's seen "clips of previous presidents talking about the importance of border security and the importance of addressing illegal immigration". "The life of an American hero was stolen by someone who had no right to be in our country". "So sad. So awful". Hundreds of thousands of federal workers are going without pay, and government disruptions are hitting home with everyday Americans.

The president often highlights such incidents, though studies over several years have found immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than people born in the United States. "At the request of Democrats it will be a steel barrier rather than a concrete wall".

Minutes after the president's address to the nation wrapped up, reactions started pouring in on social media from prominent figures like politicians, authors, journalists and humanitarian organizations. It's a bipartisan measure that passed both the House and Senate unanimously. The mounting impact of the partial shutdown, which initially was limited but will increase as more federal workers miss paychecks this cycle and services like those at national parks suffer, is likely to increase pressure on Congress and the White House to forge a deal in the coming days.

AP writers Colleen Long, Alan Fram and Deb Riechmann contributed.

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