Trump’s border wall becomes flashpoint in shutdown fight

January 9, 2018

President Trump’s core campaign promise to build a wall on the Mexican border is now the biggest sticking point in complicated negotiations with Congress to prevent a government shutdown.

Both sides are digging in ahead of a White House meeting on Tuesday aimed at narrowing the differences on immigration between the president and lawmakers of both parties.

The reemergence of the border fight comes as Congress has less than two weeks to clinch a deal to fund the government and address a laundry list of other issues.

Trump is doubling down on the border wall being a condition for any deal to help people enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. He called the wall “desperately needed” during a retreat with GOP leadership over the weekend.

“We have to get rid of the lottery system, we have to get rid of chain migration, and we have to have a wall,” Trump said after the Camp David retreat.

Trump is planning to visit prototypes of the border wall in San Diego at the end of this month. The White House has asked Congress for $18 billion to build and repair roughly 700 miles of border structures.

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