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The president who has made plugging the porous southern border one of the top issues of his administration will visit the region this week, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders announced Monday.
“President @realDonaldTrump will travel to the Southern border on Thursday to meet with those on the frontlines of the national security and humanitarian crisis. More details will be announced soon,” Sanders tweeted.
Fox News reported that Trump will visit McAllen, Texas.
Trump’s visit will come two days after he lays out his case to the nation that funding the border wall is vital to America.
“I am pleased to inform you that I will Address the Nation on the Humanitarian and National Security crisis on our Southern Border. Tuesday night at 9:00 P.M. Eastern,” Trump tweeted Monday.
The three major broadcast networks, as well as CNN, Fox News and Fox Business Network have confirmed they would carry Trump’s speech, according to The Washington Post.
Trump’s demand for funding the wall is one of the main issues that triggered a partial shutdown of the federal government that as of Tuesday will be in its 18th day.
Trump’s Oval Office address will follow meetings between Vice President Mike Pence and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and House Republicans, The Washington Post reported.
Although past talks between Trump and Democrats have not brought an end to the shutdown, Pence said Trump wants Democrats to return for more negotiations.
“Our position is very simply this: There is a humanitarian and national security crisis at the southern border,” Pence said at a briefing in his office on Monday, accoriding to a White House transcript.
The White House has “been negotiating to open the government and address that border crisis” as well as “taking steps to mitigate the effects of the shutdown,” Pence said.
Trump said Sunday he might use emergency powers to build the wall, saying he “may declare a national emergency dependent on what’s going to happen over the next few days.”
Pence said that emergency is real, Fox News reported.
“There has been a precipitous rise in illegal immigration at our southern border, particularly unaccompanied children and families,” Pence said. “Democrats don’t dispute the facts of the problem at the border. That is the foundation for finding agreement on solutions.”
Nielsen said there is no doubt that the border is the gateway for terrorists to enter America.
“We absolutely have had cases of terrorists crossing the southern border,” Nielsen said at the briefing in Pence’s office.
“The number itself is sensitive and difficult to share because some of the figures are classified, due to ongoing investigations. We can also say there are literally thousands of known or suspected terrorists traveling throughout the hemisphere, and if we don’t have a secure border, it makes it that much more difficult to tell who is coming in.”