WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump has once again called on Congress to fix immigration laws, tweeting a demand for Democratic cooperation – otherwise he will allow the federal government to shut down.
“I would be willing to ‘shut down’ government if the Democrats do not give us the votes for Border Security, which includes the Wall!” – this is the message from the US president that hit Twitter on Sunday.
While threatening a government shutdown, Trump made a reference to his administration’s proposed merit-based immigration system, which would assign points to potential migrants on factors like age, education, fluency in English, willingness to invest capital in the US, etc.
Earlier in the day, he tweeted about the consequences of people crossing the US border illegally, alleging that many use children “for their own sinister purposes.”
“Please understand, there are consequences when people cross our Border illegally, whether they have children or not – and many are just using children for their own sinister purposes. Congress must act on fixing the DUMBEST & WORST immigration laws anywhere in the world! Vote “R””
Last week, an immigration bill supported by conservative Republicans failed to pass the House of Representatives.
Trump’s draft bill included $25 billion for the wall along the US’ southern border with Mexico, a path to citizenship for the so-called Dreamers, undocumented migrants brought to the US illegally as kids, an end to the diversity visa lottery, as well as what Trump called “catch and release” – the detention of undocumented migrants.
US House Speaker Paul Ryan said that $1.6 billion had already been agreed on for the wall, and lawmakers were mulling another request for $5 billion.
Trump’s tweets came shortly after the government said that over 1,800 children separated at the US-Mexico border had been reunited with their families.
The current administration’s zero tolerance policy, which envisaged the prosecution of any individual caught crossing the southern border illegally, was suspended by POTUS after a massive backlash over the separation of some 2,000 children from their families at the border.
The government has already shut down twice this year – first over a failed deal for the Dreamers and the second – over a funding bill.