President Donald Trump demanded on Friday that Congress pass a “major border security package” to fund the border wall because “it is finally time for action” as thousands of migrants with the Central American caravan continue pushing toward the U.S.
The first groups of migrants reached the Mexico-U.S. border city of Tijuana last week.
More than 4,000 of them are camped there currently.
Approximately 6,000 U.S. troops have been helping to bolster border security efforts in anticipation of the migrants’ arrival — and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis revealed Wednesday that Trump had given him the authority to use lethal force, if necessary, to protect U.S. Customs and Border Protection personnel.
Although Trump campaigned heavily on building the border wall, on boosting border security and on enforcing immigration laws during his 2016 presidential bid against Democrat Hillary Clinton, Congress has been reluctant to provide him with full border wall funding.
Now that Democrats are set in January to take the reins from Republicans in the House after their victory in the midterm elections, the border wall’s chances of ever being completed have fallen further.
“Republicans and Democrats MUST come together, finally, with a major Border Security package, which will include funding for the Wall,” Trump insisted Friday on Twitter.
“After 40 years of talk, it is finally time for action. Fix the Border, for once and for all, NOW!”
Republicans and Democrats MUST come together, finally, with a major Border Security package, which will include funding for the Wall. After 40 years of talk, it is finally time for action. Fix the Border, for once and for all, NOW!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 23, 2018
The president has threatened to shut down the government in December by vetoing spending bills if Congress fails to fund the border wall during its lame duck session.
And Trump threatened on Thursday to shut down the “whole border” temporarily if it becomes clear that Mexico has lost “control” over its duty to prevent the caravan from crossing into the United States.
The president warned, “If we find that it gets to a level where we are going to lose control or where people are going to start getting hurt, we will close entry into the country for a period of time until we can get it under control. The whole border.”
“We’re either going to have a border or we’re not,” Trump also said.
On Thanksgiving, the day before Trump’s tweet, a group of a few hundred screaming caravan migrants staged a demonstration near the border of San Ysidro, demanding that Trump allow them entry.
“Open the gates, Trump! We are not looking for war, but work,” shouted 22-year-old Honduran Alberto Ruiz, AFP reported.
Honduran Carlos Rodriguez shouted, “Let’s go to the border! There we can pressure Trump. We are only wasting time and strength at the shelter,” according to AFP.
“Today is a special day. It is Thanksgiving in the United States. They are not going to lynch us,” Rodriguez added.
Traffic halted for roughly 40 minutes during the demonstration as U.S. police officers formed a line on the border barring entry and riot police practiced deployment maneuvers.
U.S. soldiers also released rockets “that exploded with a pungent-smelling white smoke” as helicopters flew overheard, AFP reported.
Many of the migrants are seeking asylum in the U.S. — and Trump publicly feuded with Chief Justice John Roberts of the Supreme Court after the justice offered a rare rebuke on Wednesday of Trump’s criticism against the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals after a judge temporarily blocked the administration’s new asylum policy.
Former President Barack Obama nominated U.S. District Judge Jon S. Tigar to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in 2012.
Tigar temporarily blocked the Trump administration on Monday from enforcing a new asylum policy that barred illegal immigrants from claiming asylum unless they entered at an official port of entry. Trump blasted Tigar as an “Obama judge” on Tuesday — and told reporters the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is “a disgrace” because his administration “cannot win.”
Roberts told the Associated Press in a statement on Wednesday, “We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges.”
“That independent judiciary is something we should all be thankful for,” Roberts emphasized.
Trump fired back at Roberts, writing on Twitter, “Sorry Chief Justice John Roberts, but you do indeed have ‘Obama judges,’ and they have a much different point of view than the people who are charged with the safety of our country. It would be great if the 9th Circuit was indeed an ‘independent judiciary,’ but if it is why … are so many opposing view (on Border and Safety) cases filed there, and why are a vast number of those cases overturned?”
“Please study the numbers, they are shocking. We need protection and security — these rulings are making our country unsafe! Very dangerous and unwise!” Trump added.
Sorry Chief Justice John Roberts, but you do indeed have “Obama judges,” and they have a much different point of view than the people who are charged with the safety of our country. It would be great if the 9th Circuit was indeed an “independent judiciary,” but if it is why……
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 21, 2018
…..are so many opposing view (on Border and Safety) cases filed there, and why are a vast number of those cases overturned. Please study the numbers, they are shocking. We need protection and security – these rulings are making our country unsafe! Very dangerous and unwise!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 21, 2018
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