The Oval Office is also a backdrop that projects power. "Our southern border is a vast pipeline for illegal drugs including meth, heroine, cocaine and fentanyl". The administration says it will act on its own to ensure the refunds. The same is true of drugs generally.
"Day after day, precious lives are cut short by those who have violated our borders", he said.
But he said that the White House believes the wall is a winning issue for Trump, whose refusal to sign a budget without billions for the border has forced a partial government shutdown. It could also provide an easy, face-saving path from the political quagmire, though Democrats have said they would challenge an emergency declaration in court. The next presidential election is nearly two years away, but his campaign is already paying for TV adverts condemning Democrats for opposing his policy.
Some Democrats have in the past been willing to negotiate some sort of wall funding in exchange for presidential backing of immigration changes that would allow people brought to the USA illegally as children receive legal status.
A man holds on to the border wall along the beach in Tijuana, Mexico.
Following Mr Trump's run down of crime by illegal immigrants, pundits on Twitter were quick to point out mass murders and criminals are often white Americans. But recent years have seen an uptick in asylum seekers fleeing Honduras and other Central American countries and arriving at the USA border. He covers US politics and current affairs. But that legislation didn't authorize the kind of wall Trump has always been advocating since he launched his campaign.
Speaking to the nation from the Oval Office for the first time, President Trump said that all Americans are hurt by uncontrolled illegal immigration.
THE FACTS: That's one way to look at it.More news: United States and China to hold trade talks in Beijing next week
But Mr Trump felt he needed more than a string of Tweets to try to break the stalemate with Democrats in Congress who refuse to find the $5.7bn dollars which he has requested. The refusal of Democrats to approve the money is another. "This is about whether we fulfil our sacred duty to the American citizens we serve", Trump said. "We can start by reopening the Gov't so we can pay border patrol, customs agents, TSA agents and others who are on the front lines", he said.
THE FACTS: His statement that people in the country illegally are a special menace to public safety is at odds with plentiful research.
A March study by the journal Criminology found "undocumented immigration does not increase violence".
The lunch, in the White House's Roosevelt Room, came hours before Trump delivered his prime-time address to the nation on Tuesday night - but the President made clear that he doubted the speech and border visit would be effective, the report claimed. If Robert Mueller's playing chess, the prosecutors in NY may be his queen.
"They don't do it because they hate the people on the outside".
Those numbers mean a person's odds of becoming a victim of homicide in tightly packed, diverse New York City were about the same as they were a year ago in Montana. The president, with his recent efforts, may have bought himself a bit more time for negotiations. But he did not mention that Tuesday night. For example, he has said the deal will dissuade some US companies from moving operations to Mexico and he credits that possibility as a payment by Mexico for his wall. There wasn't anything new, Trump is circling back the same old horror stories he's been saying all week and telling his cronies to spout, so what was the big deal?
Moreover, it's not in effect. Two sick children recently died in the administration's custody after making the journey to the U.S.
A new opinion poll suggests just over half of Americans (51%) blame President Trump for the government shutdown.
The number of people arrested trying to cross the border has dropped 75 per cent since its high in 2000. Also noteworthy: The contingent of active-duty USA troops at the border has been more than halved, dropping from a peak in the fall of about 5,900 to about 2,350 last week.