President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he would soon push for full funding of his promised wall along the U.S. border with Mexico, which could spark budget battles in a Congress fractured over his immigration policy.
“Now we’re going for the full funding for the wall, and we’re going to try and get that as soon as possible,” Trump said at a roundtable with California municipal leaders who favor his goal of making the U.S. border impervious to illegal immigration.
Last month Trump threatened to shut down the federal government in September if Congress did not provide more funding for his wall. If that happens, it would mark the second time in one year the U.S. government was shuttered over immigration, with an impasse leading to a brief shutdown in January.
Center and right-wing lawmakers from Trump’s Republican party are split on legislation that would protect young illegal immigrants from deportation, torn over how far it should go to clamp down on legal and illegal immigration.
At the roundtable Trump voiced hostility for the country’s southern neighbor, Mexico, which is partnering with the United States and Canada in an unprecedented bid to host the World Cup in all three countries. It is also a part of the North American Free Trade Agreement that Trump would like to renegotiate or end.
“Mexico does nothing for us,” he said. “Mexico talks but they do nothing for us, especially at the border. They certainly don’t help us much on trade.”
Reporting by Lisa Lambert and James Oliphant; editing by Grant McCool and James Dalgleish