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Congressional Democrats, while saying they are also committed to strengthening border security, view the wall as both immoral and ineffective.

"We believe we can solve this through the legislative process", Pence told CBS, urging Democrats to negotiate. Democrats, though, said the administration still failed to provide a full budget of how it would spend the billions requested for the wall from Congress. Trump campaigned on a promise that Mexico would pay for the wall, but Mexico has refused. As of Monday, every living president has said otherwise.

In a letter sent late Monday, they said a "shutdown should not be a negotiating tactic as disagreements are resolved" and warned that the shutdown, now in its 18th day, is impacting residents and state governments.

"Nearly 4,000 known or suspected terrorists were apprehended attempting to come into the United States through various means in the past year", Pence said on ABC's "Good Morning America".

Trump has offered to build the barrier with steel rather than concrete, billing that as a concession to Democrats' objections to a solid wall.

Spokespersons for Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter confirmed to The Washington Post that none of them said those words to Trump.

In a commencement address at Rutgers University in May 2016, Obama blasted the idea and said a wall was antithetical to America's history of attracting and growing from "strivers". Trump said he will not approve spending bills without funding for the wall, while Democrats say they won't approve the funding.

Trump on Sunday renewed his threat to declare a national emergency over border security as negotiations to end a partial government shutdown continued.

"When he [Trump] says that this is a national security problem - he is absolutely correct".

Democrats say other border security measures are more efficient and cost-effective than a wall, which they say is contrary to American values. "A wall is an immorality, it's not who we are as a nation".

Williams said Trump is also playing "base tribal politics" and that he's playing up issues at the border to distract from other issues he's facing.

"Maybe he thinks he can bully us".

His administration and Congress are deadlocked on funding the barrier.

Trump said this week that he's open to a wall of steel slats, noting experts have advised him they'd prefer the ability to see through the wall.

It seems that the only change he has made so far concerning the issue is the wording.

Critics have decried the previous separation of migrant children from families, the use of tear gas at the border and the case of two Guatemalan migrant children who died in US custody in December.