The address offered little hope of a breakthrough in negotiations over the shutdown, leaving the argument about where it was before Mr Trump began talking. He made clear he's willing to extend this present showdown still further.
As the shutdown stretched to the second-longest on record, a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Tuesday found that a growing proportion of Americans blame Trump for the shutdown, though Republicans mostly support his refusal to approve a budget without taxpayer dollars for a wall on the US-Mexico border.
"How much more American blood must we shed before Congress does its job?" he added.
Mr Trump has been discussing the idea of declaring a national emergency to allow him to circumvent Congress and move forward with the wall.
"For those who refuse to compromise in the name of in the name of border security, I would ask, imagine if it was your child, your husband or your wife whose life was so cruelly shattered and totally broken", Trump said.
The president is planning to visit the southern border later this week, according to White House press secretary Sarah Sanders.
Part of the goal of Trump's trip to Capitol Hill is to reassure Republicans and try to hold them in line.
Pelosi accused Trump of trying to "manufacture a crisis, stoke fear, and divert attention from the turmoil in his administration".
Mr Trump's remarks made Democrats' evening easier.
Trump called on Democrats to return to the White House to meet with him, saying it was "immoral" for "politicians to do nothing". "A fine speech that vastly exceeded the ridiculously low expectations created by the media", said Rich Lowry, editor of conservative mainstay National Review , which has been oft-critical of the president.
As he spoke, the partial government shutdown caused by the standoff over the wall entered its 18th day, while a caravan of an estimated 7,000 Central Americans who had marched through Mexico were camped on border waiting to enter the US.
But the networks also carried Democrats' response, after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer demanded equal time, predicting that Trump's speech would be "full of malice and misinformation".
"President Trump must stop holding the American people hostage, must stop manufacturing a crisis and must reopen the government", said Pelosi. College students can't complete graduation requirements, employers can't verify I-9 documentation, farmers don't have access to the loans they need to start buying supplies for the spring, and more. "Right now, what we are seeing, is death". A political sciences professor with UBC says, probably not. Bernie Sanders, also rejecting the president's characterization. "It's one of increasing numbers of families coming", said Sarah Goodman, a political scientist at the University of California, Irvine, who specializes in immigration policy.
The president said children illegally brought into the USA are "used as human pawns by vicious coyotes and ruthless gangs", while women and children are "the biggest victims by far of our broken system". "30 million Americans have no health insurance..."