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Amid govt shutdown, Trump to visit US-Mexico border on Thursday

Trump is demanding more than $5 billion to fund construction of what he calls a "wall" to stop illegal immigrants

AFP/PTI  |  Washington 

Donald Trump

President will visit the US-Mexican border this week, his spokeswoman said Monday, in the latest bid to pressure Congress over border wall negotiations that have led to a partial government shutdown.

He will "travel to the Southern border on Thursday to meet with those on the frontlines of the national security and humanitarian crisis," Sarah Sanders said in a tweet.

There was no further information on where Trump would travel.

The visit was announced as the White House and Democrats controlling the lower house of Congress refused to cede significant ground in what has become one of the biggest political challenges of Trump's turbulent presidency.

Trump is demanding more than $5 billion to fund construction of what he calls a "wall" to stop illegal immigrants. Democrats have dismissed the project as a political stunt.

In retaliation Trump has refused to sign a wider spending package -- leaving swaths of the government without funding and hundreds of thousands of employees facing delays in their paychecks.

The standoff has morphed from a debate over how to stem illegal immigration to a powerplay between the president and a Democratic Party enjoying control of the House of Representatives following their victory in November's mid-term legislative elections.

First Published: Mon, January 07 2019. 23:35 IST
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