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Democrats are responsible for deaths of two migrant children: Trump

US President Donald Trump attends a meeting about healthcare in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington, DC. (File photo)

President Donald Trump has said that Democrats are responsible for the death of two migrant children in US custody.

"Any deaths of children or others at the Border are strictly the fault of the Democrats and their pathetic immigration policies that allow people to make the long trek thinking they can enter our country illegally," Trump tweeted on Saturday. "They can’t. If we had a Wall, they wouldn’t even try! The two children in question were very sick before they were given over to Border Patrol."

"The father of the young girl said it was not their fault, he hadn’t given her water in days. Border Patrol needs the Wall and it will all end. They are working so hard & getting so little credit!"

Democratic lawmakers have called for investigations into the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) following the deaths of two migrant children in recent weeks.

Earlier this month, Jakelin Caal Maquin, a 7-year-old Guatemalan girl, died after being arrested by border agents. She died of dehydration while in US custody.

Emergency responders found that she “reportedly had not eaten or consumed water for several days," eight hours after the girl and her father had been detained by US immigration authorities on December 6 as part of a group of 163 people who approached US agents to turn themselves in.

Last week, US immigration authorities said an eight-year-old boy from Guatemala died in government custody.

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) the boy died early on Tuesday but declined to provide further details.

Trump has threatened to close the US southern border if Congress does not agree to provide $5.7 billion for his promised wall along the border with Mexico.

The dispute between Trump and Democrats has led to a partial government shutdown, going into its eighth day on Saturday.

Trump claims the proposed wall will stop illegal immigration and the "Drugs, Human Trafficking, Gang Members & Criminals" that come with it.

“We will be forced to close the Southern Border entirely if the Obstructionist Democrats do not give us the money to finish the Wall & also change the ridiculous immigration laws that our Country is saddled with,” Trump said on Friday.

“Either we build (finish) the Wall or we close the Border,” he added.

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