• Monday, Oct 03, 2022
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

Trump says build US-Mexico wall or he'll seal border

  • Published at 02:37 pm December 28th, 2018
Donald trump
US President Donald Trump delivers remarks to US troops in an unannounced visit to Al Asad Air Base, Iraq December 26, 2018 Reuters

'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,' Trump tweeted

President Donald Trump threatened Friday to seal off the US-Mexico border "entirely" if Congress does not approve billions of dollars in funding for a wall.

In a burst of early morning tweets the president said the alternative to funding his hugely controversial wall project would be total separation from Mexico -- including making US car companies pull out their factories based on the other side of the frontier.

The threat yet again upped the ante in a political row that has led to a partial shutdown of the US government and seems set to dominate the start to the third year of Trump's presidency.

"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," Trump tweeted.

With the border shut, Trump said he would take US-Mexican relations back to the days before the NAFTA agreement opened free trade across Canada, Mexico and the United States.

That would "bring our car industry back into the United States where it belongs," he said.

Trump did not make any mention of the new free trade agreement, known as the USMCA, which he only recently signed with the two neighbouring countries to replace NAFTA and which he has repeatedly praised as a huge boost for American commerce.

$5 billion question

Trump wants $5 billion in funding for a wall along the more than 2,000-mile border, which he says is currently too porous to stop illegal immigration and which he says has become a magnet for criminals, drugs and even terrorists.

Opponents -- especially in the Democratic party but also some in Trump's Republican party -- say that a physical wall is impractical and that the idea is being used as a political tool to whip up xenophobia in Trump's right-wing voter base.

Both sides have dug in. Democrats refuse to approve funding and the president -- who has made hard line immigration polices a centre piece of his presidency -- has retaliated by refusing to sign off on a wider spending bill, leaving some 800,000 federal employees without pay.

Negotiations on lifting that partial government shutdown, perhaps by providing some border security funding, have sputtered out and no new debate is scheduled before next Wednesday.

Caravan 'invasion'

Experts are divided on solutions to policing the long, often inhospitable border separating the world's biggest economy from the far poorer countries to its south.

Although there is a huge cross-border drug trade and immigrants often enter illegally, many do have genuine claims for asylum. 

Central Americans also are already deeply integrated in the US economy, often performing physically demanding, low-pay jobs in construction, agriculture and other vital sectors.

Despite this, Trump has consistently painted the asylum seekers and economic migrants in outlandish terms, raising the spectre of rapists, gang members and people with infectious diseases roaming freely across the border. 

In November, Trump threatened to close the "whole border" with Mexico if "it gets to a level where we're going to lose control or people are going to start getting hurt."

Trump and media outlets friendly to his administration have latched particularly on to what have become known as the "caravans" -- groups of several hundred or even more migrants who walk on epic treks across Central America and Mexico to try and reach the United States.

Although many in the "caravans" are families and people simply desperate for better, safer lives, Trump has portrayed the groups as organized attempts to invade the United States.

In one tweet Friday, Trump warned: "word is that a new Caravan is forming in Honduras and they are doing nothing about it."

As a result, he said, "we will be cutting off all aid" to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, impoverished, often dangerous countries where American assistance aims to boost democracy, human rights, education and security.

50
Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail