12:05 GMT +315 December 2018
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    Border Patrol agents patrol the United States-Mexico Border wall during Opening the Door Of Hope/Abriendo La Puerta De La Esparana at Friendship Park in San Ysidro, California on Saturday, November 19, 2016

    Trump Urges Dems, GOP to Adopt Security Package for Border Wall Funding

    © AFP 2018 / Sandy Huffaker
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    Earlier, the president said he would not rule out a government shutdown next month if a bipartisan agreement on border security was not reached.

    Donald Trump called for bipartisan agreement on border security including funding for his proposed wall along the Mexican border on Friday. The president tweeted that "after 40 years of talk," it was "time for action."

    A day earlier, the president threatened to temporarily close the entire border between the US and Mexico amid fears that an approaching Central American migrant caravan could lead to strife along the border area. Trump emphasized that US troops would be allowed to use "lethal force" if necessary to deal with some of the "tremendously dangerous" people in the migrant caravan, who he said have already engaged in mass violence in Mexico.

    Asked whether the US government could face a shutdown over lack of agreement on border security, Trump admitted that it was possibile. "It could happen. Over border security. The wall is just a part of border security, a very important part, probably the most important part," he said.

    Trump has pressed his Republican allies in Congress to secure at least $5 billion for the border wall initiative to live up to a campaign promise he made in 2016. However, House Democrats, engaged in an internal political struggle over who will lead the House of Representatives come January, are unlikely to accept the proposed funding demands, according to Politico. A partial government shutdown can be triggered if Trump decides not to sign a border security funding bill which does not include the $5 billion for the border wall.

    Trump allies earlier lobbied for up to $25 billion in funding for the wall, proposing to pay for it by cutting benefits for undocumented immigrants and fining people who come across the border illegally. On the campaign trail in 2016, Trump promised that Mexico would pay for the border wall to continue enjoying access to US markets. Mexican authorities refused to take the idea seriously.

    Democrats took control of the House of Representatives in elections earlier this month, with Republicans maintaining control of the Senate. The split Congress is expected to result in legislative setbacks for Trump and the Republicans. After the elections, Trump proposed bipartisan cooperation on a series of issues of mutual interest, including criminal justice reform, which Trump also tweeted about on Friday.

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