President Donald Trump has urged the Congress to cooperate in effecting the immigration laws, tweeting a demand for Democratic cooperation, warning that otherwise, he will allow the federal government to shut down.
Trump had tweeted:
I would be willing to “shut down” government if the Democrats do not give us the votes for Border Security, which includes the Wall! Must get rid of Lottery, Catch & Release etc. and finally go to system of Immigration based on MERIT! We need great people coming into our Country!
The American President made a reference to his administration’s proposed merit-based immigration system, which would assign points to potential migrants on factors such as age, education, fluency in English, willingness to invest capital in the US, etc.
Last week, an immigration bill supported by conservative Republicans failed to pass the House of Representatives.
Trump’s draft bill included $25bn for the wall along the United States’ southern border with Mexico, a path to citizenship for the so-called Dreamers, undocumented migrants brought to the US illegally as kids, an end to the diversity visa lottery, as well as what Trump called “catch and release” – the detention of undocumented migrants.
US House Speaker Paul Ryan said that $1.6bn had already been agreed on for the wall, and lawmakers were mulling another request for $5bn.
Trump’s tweets came shortly after the government said that over 1,800 children separated at the US-Mexico border had been reunited with their families.
The current administration’s zero tolerance policy, which envisaged the prosecution of any individual caught crossing the southern border illegally, was suspended by Trump after a massive backlash over the separation of some 2,000 children from their families at the border.
The government has already shut down twice this year – first over a failed deal for the Dreamers and the second – over a funding bill.