U.S. President Donald Trump says he is addressing the nation Tuesday about the "humanitarian and national security crisis" on the country's U.S.-Mexican border before traveling there Thursday for a firsthand look at efforts to thwart illegal immigration.
Trump announced the prime-time nationally televised address Monday shortly after news secretary Sarah Sanders said the U.S. leader would "meet with those on the frontlines" of controlling access across the 3,200-kilometer border with Mexico. She said more details of the trip would be announced soon.
Trump's visit to the border would come in the midst of what is now a 17-day partial government shutdown centering on a dispute over his demand for more than $5 billion in funding to build a barrier to block migrants, most of them from Central American countries, from crossing into the United States.
Opposition Democrats have blocked funding for the wall, but offered $1.3 billion in new spending for border security.
There was no end in sight Monday for the shutdown that has halted about a quarter of U.S. government operations since December 22nd.