President Donald Trump has again taken to advocating a bigger and better border wall, claiming its construction will “save Billions of Dollars if the Democrats would give us the votes to build the Wall.” Trump didn’t offer an explanation as to how an expensive and expanded barrier could boost the country’s economy.
POLITICO reports that lawmakers are not trying to decide how to avoid a partial government shutdown. Among the central issues being considered by Congress are a possible budget for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. President Trump has insisted he won’t approve any plan unless it includes at least $5 billion for a border wall.
That figure, writes POLITICO, is significantly higher than the $1.6 billion approved in a bipartisan Senate proposal.
While the commander-in-chief appears to have backed off on shut-down threats since the death of former U.S. President George H. W. Bush, he took to Twitter Monday to continue pressing the hot-button issue. Dodging questions about his promised ‘savings,’ Trump promised that “either way, people will NOT be allowed into our country illegally.”
President Trump repeated another pledge in his Monday tweets, suggesting “we will close the entire Southern Border if necessary.”
We would save Billions of Dollars if the Democrats would give us the votes to build the Wall. Either way, people will NOT be allowed into our Country illegally! We will close the entire Southern Border if necessary. Also, STOP THE DRUGS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 3, 2018
Much of Trump’s focus is cast upon a massive migrant caravan that’s traveled overland from Honduras to the Mexican border city of Tijuana. Many of the group’s members intend to submit asylum applications at authorized ports of entry.
However, the president has repeatedly claimed the caravan is largely comprised of ‘criminals’ and ‘guys.’ A recent policy initiative attempted to block migrants detained trying to cross the border illegally from submitting post-arrest asylum claims.
That executive order, writes POLITICO, has since been blocked by a federal court.
Clashes have sporadically broken out along the border, which is reinforced by members of the United States military.
Migrants and security personnel clashed near the end of November, after some members of the caravan tried to “rush” the San Ysidro border crossing. Tear gas was deployed, purportedly affected pregnant women and young children. President Trump defended the use of chemical controls, claiming that some asylum-seekers had thrown stones at border patrol agents.
As the New York Times notes, many migrants were unprepared for the hostile welcome they’d receive in Tijuana and at the U.S. border.
“We’re going for a better future for our son, in a place that’s safe,” one Honduran national told the Times.
But migrants have had to endure increasingly dangerous conditions. Since arriving in Tijuana, the caravan’s been contained in an ‘overcrowded’ and ‘fetid’ shelter just feet from the U.S.-Mexico border.
‘They thought that it would be easier,’ the Times writes, ‘and that they would not have to risk so much.’