Trump Threatens US Government Shutdown over Immigration

President Donald Trump reiterated his threat Monday to shut down the government if Congress fails to pass new border security and immigration measures, but he declined to draw a line in the sand.

But on Sunday, Trump reversed course in a surprise tweet: "I would be willing to "shut down" government if the Democrats do not give us the votes for Border Security, which includes the Wall!"

However, Trump that said the $25 billion figure for the barrier was not a "red line" and that he "always leaves room for negotiation" with Democrats.

Left unsaid was the larger number of close allies President Trump has angered and alienated, including the president of Mexico, the prime minister of Canada, British Prime Minister Theresa May, French president Emmanuel Macron, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

He wants lawmakers to approve $25bn (£19bn) to fund the construction of a "big, attractive wall" on the US-Mexico border, a signature promise of his election campaign.

On Capitol Hill, McConnell and other Senate Republican leaders told reporters Tuesday afternoon that they are sticking to their plan to approve nine of the dozen spending bills on Congress's plate by the end of August, putting them on track to have 90 percent of the government funded by the end of the fiscal year as long as Trump signs those bills into law.

"Italy has taken a very firm stance on the border, a stance few countries have taken", Trump said during a brief photo op in the Oval Office before the joint news conference. Trump tweeted Sunday. "Must get rid of Lottery, Catch & Release etc. and finally go to a system of Immigration based on MERIT!"

Senators from both parties grilled Trump administration immigration officials Tuesday, demanding answers about the separation of immigrant families and reports of sexual harassment.

"If families and children are going to be kept in federal custody they must be kept in facilities where they will be treated humanely, and with the basic dignity that all people-no matter what their immigration status-deserve", Grassley said.

Trump has come under intense criticism for his zero-tolerance immigration policy, which prioritises prosecutions of people who enter the USA illegally. "Even worse are the stories we heard about that bad separations and the bad conditions in which they were held".

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Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) said the funding for the wall was "not a question of if, it's a question of when", but also said Trump is "willing to be patient to make sure we get what we need so that we can get this done".

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said on CBS' Face the Nation that he didn't think shutting down the government just before the elections would be helpful, "so let's try and avoid it".

Trump is noting that Italian voters got "tired" of their country's immigration policies.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) downplayed the potential for a government shutdown, which would take place October 1, the end of the fiscal year and just weeks before the midterm elections.

Government funding expires midnight September 30. McConnell canceled most of his chamber's recess to give senators time to work on the annual spending bills.

"You told the administration that kids would suffer as a result, that pain would be inflicted?"

Democrats not only want better documentation of the separation and reunification processes, there is also a push to conduct special investigations on the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security and Health and Human Services. "They have recreational opportunities, both structured as well as unstructured", Albence said.

Last week, Republican leaders thought they had reached a deal with Trump to delay a confrontation on funding for the wall until after the November mid-term elections, according to a person familiar with their discussion.

"Border security includes the wall, but it includes many other things", Trump said.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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