Donald Trump has a new payment plan in mind for his border wall, and he is willing to shut down the federal government in order to get it.
In an early morning tweet on Sunday, the president said that Democrats needed to support his border wall idea and provide funding to build the massive wall. This appears to be a reversal for the president, as Trump had regularly said throughout his 2016 presidential campaign that Mexico would pay for the border wall.
“I would be willing to ‘shut down’ government if the Democrats do not give us the votes for Border Security, which includes the Wall!” he wrote. “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!”
Donald Trump’s immigration policies have seen a number of setbacks in recent weeks. Earlier this year, the Trump administration hailed a new zero-tolerance enforcement policy for people crossing the U.S. border, which ended up detaining adults and sending children to detention centers.
This policy led to an international outcry, especially as many of those separated from their children had crossed the border legally seeking asylum. Though Trump had claimed during the controversy that the policy could only be reversed if Democrats voted to change immigration laws and fund the border wall, he ultimately reversed the policy on his own. A federal judge has since ordered that all children separated from their parents be returned, though the Trump administration has missed deadlines for these reunions.
This is not the first time that Donald Trump appeared to abandon the campaign promise that Mexico would be paying for the border wall. Earlier this year, the Washington Post reported that Trump was instead pressing the U.S. military to fund and build the wall.
As CNN noted, the proposal showed that Trump was moving fully away from the idea that Mexico would fund it.
“The idea is Trump’s latest attempt to find a way to build the border wall he promised supporters during his campaign as Mexico has dismissed his call for Mexico to fund its construction. Trump has said he would seek that payment in the form of a refund, either through trade negotiations, remittance payments or other means.”
This is also not the first time that Donald Trump has threatened to shut down the federal government over funding for his border wall, though lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have said the issue is not worth risking a costly shutdown over.