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Migrant caravan - live updates: Trump threatens to close border amid government shutdown as he claims new caravan is forming

President cites absolutely no evidence as he seeks to stoke immigration fears with claim of new caravan forming in Honduras

Chris Stevenson
Friday 28 December 2018 18:49 GMT
President Trump: 'We're going to have a wall, we're going to have safety'

Donald Trump's frustration at the denial of his request for $5bn in funding from Congress for his promised wall on the US-Mexico border is building as the government shutdown continues with no end in sight.

The president has once again threatened to close America's southern border unless he receives the funding, and has also threatened to cut US funding to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador over what the president claims is a lack of action over immigration.

People from the three nations formed the bulk of the caravans that have reached the US border in recent weeks, with Mr Trump claiming - without evidence - another is forming in Honduras. It comes as US immigration officials face questions over the deaths of two Guatemalan children at the border in the last two weeks.

To see the latest updates, please follow our liveblog.

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Hello and welcome to our coverage of the immigration situation at the US border - and its place at the centre of the government shutdown.

Chris Stevenson28 December 2018 14:59

Mr Trump has repeatedly said that he will not back down from his request for $5bn in funding for his oft-promised wall on the US-Mexico border. 

Democrats have refused to give in to the demand, and it is one of the major factors why a spending bill to keep the government open was not passed before Christmas.

That partial shutdown will now last into the new year.

Chris Stevenson28 December 2018 15:07

Today, Mr Trump has repeated a threat to shut the border if the funding is not agreed.

Chris Stevenson28 December 2018 15:16

It comes as the US Department is under the spotlight after the deaths of two Guatemalan migrant children in the last two weeks. The latest on the second case is here:

Chris Stevenson28 December 2018 15:26

With large parts of the federal government shut down for lack of funding in a dispute over the proposed wall and Congress adjourned until next week, Mr Trump is in the White House firing off angry tweets.

"We will be forced to close the Southern Border entirely if the Obstructionist Democrats do not give us the money to finish the Wall & also change the ridiculous immigration laws that our Country is saddled with," Mr Trump said.

"Either we build (finish) the Wall or we close the Border," he added.

The Republican president has also reiterated threats to cut off all US aid to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, which he said were not doing anything to stop the flow of migrants toward the United States.


Chris Stevenson28 December 2018 15:37

As for the shutdown, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders has said the White House and Democrats are "far apart" on any kind of agreement.

Ms Sanders said of Democrats: "They've left the table altogether, so of course we are far apart."

Chris Stevenson28 December 2018 15:46

Incoming acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney has complained that Democrats were ignoring an offer from the White House to agree to lower funding levels to build the wall. Mr Mulvaney said the offer was made on Saturday but Democrats are no longer considering that option.

He said: "There's not a single Democrat talking to the President of the United States about this deal."

He added of the shutdown: "We do expect this to go on for a while."

Chris Stevenson28 December 2018 15:54

As Mr Trump baselessly speaks about a new migrant caravan, some of those involved in the trekking to the US border this year have been speaking to Reuters:

Since setting out from Honduras in the hope of reaching the United States, Nicolas Alonso Sanchez has worn a simple wooden cross around his neck â a quiet reminder of the Roman Catholic faith that propels him forward.

"God gave me the strength to get all the way here," Sanchez, 47, says at a temporary shelter where he is staying in the Mexican border city of Tijuana.

On the long journey from Central America to U.S. soil, many migrants have taken solace in their religion.

Several 'caravans' of mostly Honduran migrants who made the trek this year faced arduous conditions, braving fierce heat by day and searching for a safe place to sleep at night.

Chris Stevenson28 December 2018 16:02

A spokesman for US Senate Democrat leader Chuck Schumer said on Thursday that the two sides are nowhere near an agreement. Democrats have offered support for $1.3bn in funding for general border security, but have long opposed the building of a wall.

Chris Stevenson28 December 2018 16:11

Mr Trump has previously claimed that former President Ronald Reagan tried to build a border wall, here is Mr Reagan in his own words on that matter:

Chris Stevenson28 December 2018 16:22

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