Trump threatens to have military build 'remaining sections' of US border wall

Both sides are digging in their heels, risking a partial government shutdown

Kristin Hugo
New York
Tuesday 11 December 2018 16:38 GMT
Government shutdown: How does it work and will Trump’s border wall fight derail resolution negotiations

Donald Trump has tweeted that the military will build the wall between the US and Mexico if Democrats don’t give him the votes required to fund it.

Mr Trump sent the tweet hours before he met with Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi. In the meeting they planned to discuss ways to prevent a partial government shutdown.

On 22 December, the funding for some agencies will expire. The House and Senate will need to agree to new budgets for those agencies, and if they don’t, they risk getting shut down temporarily.

Trump has requested billions of dollars in funding to complete building the wall on the southern border of the United States to prevent illegal immigration. Some of his recent tweets mention “large caravans” that he says have “turned back” due to ICE and border patrol.

However, he says that a stronger border would be more cost-effective in the long term for keeping immigrants at bay. If the budget is not approved, Mr Trump could look to the well-funded Department of Defense for building the wall. However, The Atlantic reports that there would be many obstacles for Mr Trump to overcome if for that to have a chance of happening.

The democratic leaders are unlikely to budge. Ms Pelosi has said that spending so much on a border wall would be “immoral, ineffective and expensive.”

Both sides are digging in their heels, and compromise seems like it will be challenging. However, neither the public nor the government want a partial shutdown , and compromise is the only way to avoid it. According to a PBS Newshour/NPR/Marist poll, 57 per cent of Americans would rather that the president should compromise on the wall negotiations. However, more republicans would rather have Mr Trump stand firm.

Support free-thinking journalism and attend Independent events

Mr Trump also tweeted that democrats had voted for a border wall in 2006, and their support for the wall had waned for political reasons. However, this is likely a reference to legislation that supported a border fence, which democrats did not strongly support, Politico reports.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in