Trump said over the last several years, he has met with dozens of families whose loved ones were killed by illegal immigration.
The Democrats have "refused to provide our courageous border agents with the tools they desperately need to protect our families and our nation", he added. Twenty-two adults have died in the past two years in a detention system that has proven again and again how deadly inadequate medical care can be. "The president should be really defending why we are funding [ICE] at all", Ocasio-Cortez told liberal heavyweight Rachel Maddow.
Democrats also argue that a mix of fencing, which already has been constructed in many parts of the border, and higher-tech tools would be cheaper and more effective in securing the border.
The President is scheduled to meet on Wednesday with Congressional leaders in an attempt to break the impasse, but a compromise seems unlikely for now with both obstinate in their stances.
He also has failed to persuade most Americans that he's right. Trump wrote. "Because walls work".
Schumer said Trump left the meeting abruptly after he asked Pelosi whether she would support his demand for a border wall, and she said no.
In a televised rebuttal, Democratic leaders accused the president of holding the American people hostage.
Some correspondents have speculated that he may ultimately resort to such a declaration as a last-ditch tactic to allow him to reopen the government without losing face to Democrats.
Migrant border crossings, for example, are on the decline-not increasing, as Trump claimed-and the majority of opioids entering the country arrive by mail from China, not illegally through the southern border, as Trump suggested. Schumer said that Trump's use of government workers as "pawns", forced out of their jobs by the shutdown, was "cruel".
She noted that the House passed legislation to reopen government on the first day of the new Congress. "But, all Americans are hurt by uncontrolled illegal migration", he said.
Mr Trump cited cases of gruesome murders of American citizens that he said had been committed by undocumented immigrants. "This is a humanitarian crisis, a crisis of the heart and a crisis of the soul".
An October 2018 report by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency detailed the prevalence and source of a number of drugs, including those Trump mentioned Tuesday - heroin, fentanyl, methamphetamine and cocaine.