Trump says he’s pre­pared to close Mex­ico bor­der

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WASH­ING­TON • With the par­tial gov­ern­ment shut­down headed to­ward its sec­ond week and no res­o­lu­tion in sight, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump on Fri­day is­sued a string of tweets in which he again vowed to close the en­tire U.S. bor­der with Mex­ico and halt aid to sev­eral Latin Amer­i­can coun­tries un­less Democrats agree to his de­mand for bil­lions of dol­lars in wall fund­ing.Trump also can­celled plans to visit his Florida re­sort, Mar-a-lago, and will re­main in Wash­ing­ton over the New Year’s hol­i­day, Of­fice of Man­age­ment and Bud­get Direc­tor Mick Mul­vaney said.About 25 per cent of the fed­eral gov­ern­ment has been shut down since Satur­day, with roughly 800,000 work­ers af­fected, in­clud­ing an es­ti­mated 350,000 who are on furlough at home.“We will be forced to close the South­ern Bor­der en­tirely if the Ob­struc­tion­ist Democrats do not give us the money to fin­ish the Wall & also change the ridicu­lous im­mi­gra­tion laws that our Coun­try is sad­dled with,” Trump said in a morn­ing tweet.In a reprise of his threat be­fore the midterm elec­tions to cut off aid to Hon­duras, Gu­atemala and El Sal­vador as a car­a­van of mi­grants was mak­ing its way to­ward the United States, Trump said that those three coun­tries “are do­ing noth­ing for the United States but tak­ing our money.”“Word is that a new Car­a­van is form­ing in Hon­duras and they are do­ing noth­ing about it,” he said, with­out pro­vid­ing fur­ther de­tails. “We will be cut­ting off all aid to these 3 coun­tries — tak­ing ad­van­tage of U.S. for years!”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 $10.6 bil­lion U.S. con­tri­bu­tion to be drawn from ex­ist­ing aid pro­grams.Trump’s tweets come as Congress has ef­fec­tively given up on break­ing the im­passe over the pres­i­dent’s de­mands for bor­der-wall fund­ing, all but en­sur­ing that the par­tial gov­ern­ment shut­down will stretch into at least the start of the new year.The House and the Se­nate con­vened for just min­utes Thurs­day be­fore clos­ing un­til next week. Dur­ing the brief ses­sion in the House, Repub­li­cans shot down a Demo­cratic at­tempt to vote on leg­is­la­tion to re­open the gov­ern­ment.As he did Thurs­day, Trump re­mained out of pub­lic view on Fri­day. In an ap­pear­ance on Fox News, Mul­vaney said that the pres­i­dent had “can­celled his plans for Christ­mas, and now he’s can­celled his plan for New Year’s.”“He’s stay­ing in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., over New Year’s,” said Mul­vaney, who is set to be­come Trump’s act­ing chief of staff next month.

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