Trump urges wall funding to fix border crisis in TV address

U.S President Donald Trump made a televised plea for border wall funding on Tuesday night, seeking an edge in the shutdown battle with congressional Democrats as he declared there is "a humanitarian crisis, a crisis of the heart and a crisis of the soul".

Addressing the nation from the Oval Office for the first time, Trump argued for funding on security and humanitarian grounds as he sought to put pressure on newly empowered Democrats amid an extended partial government shutdown.

The U.S president called on Democrats to return to the White House to meet with him, saying it was "immoral" for "politicians to do nothing."

Trump, who has long railed against illegal immigration at the border, has recently seized on humanitarian concerns to argue there is a broader crisis that can only be solved with a wall along the U.S-Mexico border.

But critics say the security risks are overblown and his administration is at least partly to blame for the humanitarian situation.

(Agencies)