US President Donald Trump visited the country's southern border with Mexico, where he reiterated his demand to build a wall between the two nations to end the "growing humanitarian and security crisis" in the region.
He arrived at the border town of McAllen on Thursday where he listened to tragic stories from people who described violent deaths of siblings and sons, including one woman whose son, a Border Patrol agent, had been killed by an unauthorised immigrant, reports The New York Times.
Flanked by Border Patrol officers, as well as Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, and a cache of drugs, cash and weapons seized by the authorities at the border, Trump blamed the protracted shutdown of the federal government, now in its 20th day, on the Democrats.
"If we had a barrier of any kind, whether it's steel or concrete," Trump said of tragic stories involving violence and human trafficking, "they wouldn't even bother trying. We could stop that cold".
Border Patrol officers used visual aids showing stash houses, road checkpoints and drug caches to emphasise the demand for border security and a wall.