Pelosi, During Government Shutdown, Is Vacationing at Hawaii Resort

Trump Threatens to Close the Southern Border if He Doesn't Get Wall Money

Trump Threatens to Close the Southern Border if He Doesn't Get Wall Money

The Republican leader's warning came as a partial federal government shutdown was set to drag on into next week, with legislators in Washington failing to reach a compromise over Trump's insistence on funding the border barrier.

"The United States looses [sic] soooo much money on Trade with Mexico under NAFTA, over 75 Billion Dollars a year (not including Drug Money which would be many times that amount), that I would consider closing the Southern Border a 'profit making operation, '" Trump wrote in another tweet.

Despite Trump's threat, the United States this month announced a new collaboration with Mexico on a program to curb migration from Central American countries, with much of the $US10.6 billion ($15 billion) USA contribution to be drawn from existing aid programs.

It was not clear how separating the two huge neighbors would work. Now we have to do it the hard way, with a Shutdown.

Trump is demanding $5 billion for the wall, while Democratic leaders have proposed $1.3 billion for border security.

According to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Thursday, 47 percent of Americans hold Trump responsible for the shutdown, while 33 percent blame Democrats in Congress. In television interviews on Friday, Trump aides said Democrats have refused to negotiate over the matter.

In recent months, the migrants fleeing the region have been typified by a caravan that Mr Trump labels an "invasion", as thousands make their way through Mexico en route to the USA border. While the U.S. Department of Homeland Security says the father told them he had not been able to give his daughter food or water for "days", the family has called for an "objective and thorough investigation" into the incident. "Go down to the border and let the fearless men and women on the front lines personally tell the American people and Congress how effective border barriers are".

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"I would hope that it could be ended soon", he told CNN television.

Experts are divided on solutions to policing the long, often inhospitable border separating the world's biggest economy from the far poorer countries to its south. Central Americans are also deeply integrated in the United States economy, often performing physically demanding, low-pay jobs in construction, agriculture and other vital sectors. Over the past two years, the Trump administration has strived to crack down on asylum-seekers at the border. In an interview with USA Today before Christmas, Pelosi accused Trump of using "scare tactics" to build support for the border wall. "Bring our auto industry back into the United States where it belongs", he wrote.

In one tweet Friday, Trump warned: "word is that a new Caravan is forming in Honduras and they are doing nothing about it".

Rounding off the tweetstorm was Mr Trump's assertion that the Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador were "taking advantage of the U.S. for years".

Democrats see a president staggering forward, unready for the siege coming in the new year from empowered House Democrats and developments in the special counsel probe of Russia's role in the 2016 election - and flailing as the financial markets endure a roller-coaster of highs and lows.

About a million citizens of the three countries have been caught by Border Patrol between 2013 and 2017 (pdf) trying to enter illegally. That year, the US directed $181 million to Honduras and $118.2 million to El Salvador.

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