US President Donald Trump has threatened to “shut down” the government if Democrats refuse to back his immigration reform, including a wall at the Mexican border.
In his latest tweet, Trump said he “would be willing to ‘shut down’” the federal government if members of Congress from the opposition party didn’t row in behind Republicans in voting for his immigration reform package, which includes releasing funds for the US-Mexico border wall that formed the cornerstone of his election campaign.
I would be willing to “shut down” government if the Democrats do not give us the votes for Border Security, which includes the Wall! Must get rid of Lottery, Catch & Release etc. and finally go to system of Immigration based on MERIT! We need great people coming into our Country!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 29, 2018
Press TV reports: Trump wants Congress to pass legislation that addresses immigration issues, including the border wall, changing the way visas are allotted and other immigration restrictions.
Although Republicans control Congress, disagreements between moderates and conservatives in the party have impeded a speedy legislative fix.
Standoffs over spending levels and immigration led to a three-day government shutdown, mostly over a weekend, in January and an hours-long shutdown in February.
The Republican president has made tougher immigration laws a centerpiece of his administration, from the first ill-fated travel ban on people from predominantly Muslim nations to the current battle raging over the separation of illegal immigrant children from their parents at the US-Mexico border.
A federal judge on Friday urged the US government to focus on finding deported immigrant parents so it could reunite them with their children who remain in the United States.
Trump has requested $25 billion to build the border wall and $1.6 billion has already appropriated for the project.
US House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan said lawmakers were considering an appropriations measure seeking an additional $5 billion for the wall.
However, its passage in the US Senate, where Republicans have a slim majority, is a long shot.
Lawmakers met with Trump last week to discuss the appropriations process to fund the government by the September deadline.
“We really just want to get the military funded, on time, on budget on schedule this year. And that’s the primary concern,” Ryan said Wednesday on Fox News.