Trump Threatens Government Shutdown Over Immigration

President Donald Trump has threatened to once again shut down the federal government unless Democratic lawmakers agree to his demands on immigration.

In a post on Twitter early Sunday, Trump claimed he is willing to shut down the government if Democrats do not vote to improve border security, including by providing additional funding for his controversial border wall.

“I would be willing to ‘shut down’ government if the Democrats do not give us the votes for Border Security, which includes the Wall!” Trump tweeted.

“Must get rid of Lottery, Catch & Release etc. and finally go to system of Immigration based on MERIT!” he added. “We need great people coming into our Country!”

The tweet from Trump comes as lawmakers face a September 30th deadline to pass legislation funding the government and avoiding another shutdown.

The government shut down for three days in January due in part to a dispute over providing protections for young illegal immigrants brought the country as children, commonly known as Dreamers.

Republicans in Congress likely hope to avoid another shutdown just over a month before the midterm elections as they strive to hold on to their majorities in the House and Senate.

In an earlier Tweet, Trump claimed there are consequences when people cross the border illegally, whether they have children or not.

“Many are just using children for their own sinister purposes,” Trump tweeted. “Congress must act on fixing the DUMBEST & WORST immigration laws anywhere in the world!”

The issue of immigration recently attracted considerable media attention due to Trump’s since-reversed policy of separating families of illegal immigrants crossing the border.

In an appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Steve Stivers, R-Ohio, predicted lawmakers would avoid a government shutdown.

“I don’t think we’re going to shut down the government,” Stivers said. “I think we’re going to make sure we keep the government open, but we’re going to get better policies on immigration.”

The confidence expressed by Stivers comes even though the House failed to pass an immigration bill backed by Republicans leaders last month.

The House voted 301 to 121 against the Border Security and Immigration Reform Act, with 112 Republicans joining with all of the Democrats in the chamber to block the bill.

The legislation negotiated by moderate and conservative Republican lawmakers received even less support than a more conservative bill.

The compromise bill purportedly included $25 billion in funding to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, a key demand from Trump.

The bill also addressed family separations at the border, provided a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, ended the diversity visa “lottery” system, and limited family migration.

Stivers’ Democratic counterpart, Congressman Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M., also appeared on ABS’s “This Week” and claimed Democrats want to work on a bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform package.

(Photo: Gage Skidmore)

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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