06:28 GMT +319 August 2019
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    A truck drives near the Mexico-US border fence, on the Mexican side, separating the towns of Anapra, Mexico and Sunland Park, New Mexico

    Trump Threatens to Close S Border Completely if Democrats Refuse to Finance Wall

    © AP Photo / Christian Torres
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    The US president has been struggling with US Senate Democrats to pass a budget bill containing $5 billion in funding for the construction of a wall on the border with Mexico for the last month. After the Senate failed to sign the bill following approval by the lower chamber, the US government went into a partial shutdown.

    US President Donald Trump continued to pressure the Democrats in the US Senate to approve the funding for the construction of the border wall, as well as amendments to immigration law, on 28 December on Twitter, threatening to close the entire southern border otherwise.

    The president justified the border closure by stating that the US loses a lot of money in trade with Mexico under NAFTA, which will be soon replaced by a new trilateral deal between the NAFTA states.

    READ MORE: Trump, Nieto, and Trudeau Sign US-Canada-Mexico Trade Deal Replacing NAFTA

    Trump also slammed Central American states over their reluctance to prevent illegal migration to the US, while "taking [US] money". He threatened to end financial help to Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador over this issue. The US president added that according to rumours a new migrant caravan is being formed in Honduras due to the negligence of its authorities.

    He labelled the Democrats "obstructionist" over their lasting standoff concerning the wall's construction. The budget bill requires 60 votes in the Senate to pass, with the GOP controlling only 51 seats. The bill can thus only be passed with some of the Democrats agreeing to vote in its favour or with Republicans using the so-called "nuclear option" to bypass the 60 margin making a simple majority the only requirement.

    Trump urged the GOP senators to use the "nuclear option" during the last meeting of the US Senate prior to Christmas, but they decided not to follow his advice, which led to a partial government shutdown. The Senate now must come to an agreement on the budget or pass a stopgap spending bill to restore the government's functioning.

    READ MORE: Trump: Military to Build Wall on Mexico Border if Dems Don't Vote to Secure US

    The construction of the wall on the border with Mexico was one of the key electoral promises made by Trump in 2016. He argued that only a "good old fashioned wall" can stop the influx of illegal migrants, gangs and drugs into the US from its southern neighbour.

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    Tags:
    Border Wall, immigration laws, Democrats, budget, Twitter, Donald Trump, Mexico, United States
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