President Donald Trump demanded on November 23rd 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 US. Trump also threatened to close the US border with Mexico for an undisclosed period of time if his administration determines that its southern ally has lost "control" on its side.
“Republicans and Democrats MUST come together, finally, with a major border security package, which will include funding for the wall,” Trump insisted on Twitter on November 23rd. “After 40 years of talk, it is finally time for action. Fix the Border, for once and for all, NOW!” He 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,” he added. “We’re either going to have a border or we’re not,” Trump also said. He 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 while the Republicans are still in the majority in the House of Representatives.
The first groups of migrants reached the Mexico-US border city of Tijuana last week. More than 4,000 of them are currently camped there. Approximately 6,000 US troops have been helping to bolster border security efforts in anticipation of the migrants’ arrival and Secretary of Defense, Jim Mattis, revealed on November 21st that Trump had given him the authority to use lethal force, if necessary, to protect US Customs and Border Protection personnel.
“The caravans will not be permitted to enter the United States," Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, said on November 22nd. "There are real dangers to the safety and human rights of migrants from those who would prey on them." In a statement, Pompeo said “I have been in close contact with Mexican Foreign Secretary Videgaray and it has been one week since Secretary Nielsen and I had a constructive meeting with Mexican Foreign Secretary-designate Marcelo Ebrard to discuss the migrant caravans. We have affirmed our shared commitment to addressing the current challenge.”
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 the Democrats are set to take over the reins from the Republicans in the House in January, following their victory in the midterm elections, the border wall’s chances of ever being completed have declined even further.