Donald Trump threatens government shutdown if Congress doesn't meet demand of funding Mexican border wall

Washington: US president Donald Trump on Tuesday threatened a government shutdown if his demand of funding a wall on the Mexican border is not met by Congress, as he reiterated his demand of an immigration system that is based on merit and ends the visa lottery and chain immigration. "We're the laughing stock of the world. We have the worst immigration laws anywhere in the world,” he said adding the US needs border security," Trump said at a White House joint news conference with visiting Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte.

 Donald Trump threatens government shutdown if Congress doesnt meet demand of funding Mexican border wall

File image of US president Donald Trump. AP

“Border security includes the wall, but it includes many other things. We have to end the lottery. We have to end the chain migration, which is like a disaster. You bring one person in and you end up with 32 people,” he said. “We have to end these horrible catch-and-release principles where you catch somebody, you take their name and you release them. You don't even know who they are. Then they're supposed to come back to a court case where they want us to hire thousands of judges. The whole thing is ridiculous and we have to change our laws. We do that through Congress,” he added.

Trump said he and the Italian prime minister are united in their conviction that strong nations must have strong borders. “We have a solemn obligation to protect our citizens and their quality of life. My administration is working hard to pass border security legislation, improved vetting and establish a merit-based immigration system, which the United States needs very, very importantly, very badly,” he said.

“As far as the border is concerned and personally, if we don't get border security, after many, many years of talk within the United States, I would have no problem doing a shutdown. It's time we had proper border security,” he said.

Trump said he and Conte are focused on the urgent need to protect their nations from terrorism and uncontrolled migration. “Our countries have learned through hard experience that border security is national security, they are one and the same,” he said. “Like the United States, Italy is currently under enormous strain as a result of illegal immigration, and they've fought it hard and the prime minister frankly is with us today because of illegal immigration. Italy got tired of it, they didn't want it any longer,” said the president.

The people of Italy have borne a great part of the burden for Europe through the course of the migration crisis, he said as he applauded Conte for his bold leadership in this regard. “I hope more leaders will follow this example, including leaders in Europe,” he said. "The prime minister and I are united in our conviction that strong nations must have strong borders," Trump said.

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Updated Date: Jul 31, 2018 07:37:23 IST