Central American migrants look through a border fence as a US Border Patrol agent stands guard near the El Chaparral border crossing in Tijuana, Mexico, on Nove
Washington, November 29 (RHC)-- U.S. President Donald Trump says he would “totally be willing” to shut down the federal government unless Congress authorizes $5 billion to fund his long-promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
In an interview with Politico published on Wednesday, Trump said the $5 billion request for funding the border would pay for a physical barrier alone, and that additional funding would be needed for other border security measures.
Trump also told the news outlet that he saw little need to work with Congress over immigration reforms to address the roughly 700,000 so-called Dreamers, young adults who were brought to the United States illegally as children. Instead, he said he wants to see first how court challenges play out over DACA, a U.S. immigration policy during the administration of former U.S. President Barack Obama that allowed Dreamers to stay in the country.
In a separate interview with the Washington Post on Tuesday, the Republican president said that if Congress does not fund the wall he might try to get it done another way. He referred to his ordering of U.S. troops to the border in October to install “barbed wire and fencing and various other things.”
U.S. lawmakers must act to pass a spending bill by December 7 to fund some government agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security that oversees the border and immigration.
Trump has not followed through on previous threats to shut down the U.S. government over the border wall funding. But with his fellow Republicans in the lower chamber of Congress who are set to lose control of the House of Representatives in January following Democrats’ gains in elections this month, Trump’s comments have raised concern that this time he may not back down.
Republicans will maintain their control of the Senate next year but still need some Democratic support to pass spending legislation in the upper chamber. Democrats have refused to support Trump’s border wall, which was a major part of his 2016 election platform, but have backed other border security measures. Trump has made his hard-line stance on immigration an integral part of his presidency.
The U.S. president has deployed thousands of military troops and National Guards to help border patrol block illegal entry. The military has been given the right to use lethal force if necessary.
Analysts say the divisive political climate in the U.S., as well as Trump’s "xenophobic rhetoric and racist policies" have had a major impact on the rise of right-wing extremists in the country.
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