Donald Trump

President Trump Tours Texas-Mexico Border, Bolsters Case for Border Wall

Standing along the Rio Grande Thursday, President Donald Trump says "a lot of the crime in our country is caused by what's coming through here."

Trump toured a section of the U.S.-Mexico border seeking bolster his case for spending billions of dollars on a border wall.

A law enforcement officer told Trump during his tour that a greater percentage of apprehensions in recent weeks have involved people from places other than Mexico and Central America. He cited people from Pakistan, China and India as specific examples.

Trump told reporters, "So they apprehended people from the Middle East and they do it all the time." He added. "Whether it's steel or concrete, you don't care. We need a barrier."

Vice President Mike Pence said Trump has "made no decision" about declaring a national emergency to build the wall but added, "The president's going to get this done one way or another."

Before departing for Texas, Trump said there were many mechanisms at his disposal that would allow him to build the wall without striking a deal that reopens the government but that he preferred to secure the wall through a deal with Congress.

The president and congressional Democrats remain at an impasse over his demand for $5.7 billion for a wall along the southern border. Critics contend Trump overstates the security risks and that the administration is at least partly to blame for the humanitarian situation.

Pence called on Democrats to negotiate an end to the shutdown, which is now in its 20th day. He told reporters it's time for Congress to "do its job."

Democrats said Trump is holding the country hostage for his wall funding and have called on Republicans to re-open the government.

Pence also indicated Trump has little interest in a broader immigration deal to end the shutdown. He said Trump is waiting to see how the courts rule on the legality of an Obama-era program that shields some young immigrants from deportation.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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