Trump Threatens Government Shutdown if Congress Doesn’t Fund His Border Wall

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump walk across the South Lawn of the White House in Washington Friday

President Donald Trump threatened to shut down the federal government in a tweet on Sunday, calling for Democrats to support his administration's "immigration reform" policies.

"I would be willing to "shut down" government if the Democrats do not give us the votes for Border Security, which includes the Wall!", said Trump.

Trump's tweet came days after the government said more than 1,800 children separated from their parents at the U.S. -Mexico border had been reunited with their families Nonetheless, hundreds remain separated.

'Must get rid of Lottery, Catch & Release etc. and finally go to system of Immigration based on MERIT!'

In May, Trump suggested "closing up the country for a while" if he did not get his wall.

US House Speaker Paul Ryan said that $1.6bn had already been agreed on for the wall, and lawmakers were mulling another request for $5bn.

A disruption in federal government operations in the months before November congressional elections could backfire on Trump if voters blame Republicans, who control Congress, for the interruption in services.

Congress ultimately passed a spending bill in March that funded the government through September.

Some Republican lawmakers doubted the government would be forced to shut down.

President Trump threatens shutdown over wall, immigration
Lawmakers met with Trump last week to discuss the appropriations process to fund the government by the September deadline. Trump has requested US$25 billion to build a wall along the southern U.S. border with Mexico.

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A second group of White Helmets and their families has been unable to reach the border, a Canadian government source told AFP . Israel's Haaretz daily said the evacuees also included orphans who had been injured in the Syrian fighting.

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In recent months, the president has moved to make immigration far more hard that it already is, including separating families seeking asylum, often shipping children of immigrant parents to separate facilities.

House Republicans released a spending bill this month that provides $5 billion ($7b NZ) next year to build Trump's wall. "The president, I think, wants us to have policies that work for America and work for Americans, and I think that's what we are going to move forward with".

The $5 billion is well above the $1.6 billion in the Senate version of the bill, which would finance the Homeland Security Department.

Two leading Democrats - Reps.

The President's attitudes on immigration, as well as his insistence on a wall along the southern border, were hallmarks of his campaign, and themes he regularly returns to.

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 U.S. -Mexico border.

Trump then claimed the United States has the "dumbest" and "worst" immigration laws in the world.

Trump's latest attacks against US immigrants entering the USA illegally - majority from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras - comes as his administration continues to deal with the fallout of his "zero tolerance" policy of weeks ago in which more than 2,500 children were separated from their parents as they crossed into the United States.