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US President Donald Trump delivers a televised address to the nation on funding for a border wall from the Oval Office of the White House in Washington DC on January 8, 2019. Image Credit: AFP

Washington: US President Donald Trump on Tuesday repeated his demand for $5.7 billion in funding for a wall on the border with Mexico, but stopped short of calling for a much-touted state of emergency.

“As part of an overall approach to border security, law enforcement professionals have requested $5.7 billion for a physical barrier,” Trump said in a rare address to the nation from the Oval Office.

Trump had spent days mulling declaring a state of emergency along the border that would have given him powers to bypass Congress, which has so far refused to fund the wall project, and draw funds from the military to build the border barrier.

The situation along the US border with Mexico is a “growing crisis,” Trump said, stressing that uncontrolled illegal immigration is hurting millions of Americans.

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“There is a growing humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border,” the president said in a rare live Oval Office address to the nation, adding that every day US Customs and Border Patrol agents “encounter thousands of illegal immigrants trying to enter our country.”

Trump repeated his call for a wall on the border, calling it “absolutely critical to border security.”