President Donald Trump is threatening to shut down the federal government in September if Congress does not release funding for a wall on Mexico border, Reuters news reported.
“That wall has started, we have 1.6 billion (dollars),” Trump said at a campaign rally in Washington, Michigan, on Saturday.
“We come up again on September 28th and if we don’t get border security we will have no choice, we will close down the country because we need border security,” Trump said.
He also said: "We have to have borders and we have to have them fast...and we need the wall."
Trump did not specify the total cost of the project.
In March, Trump made similar statements as he pushed for immigration law changes that could prevent criminals from coming into the country. In January, the government briefly shut down over a budget stalemate related to immigration. But a government shutdown is unlikely to have support just ahead of the mid-elections in November.
The president pointed out that he skipped the White House Correspondents' dinner to travel to the rally.
"You may have heard I was invited to another event tonight, the White House Correspondents' dinner," he said, drawing boisterous boos from his audience. "But I'd much rather be in Washington, Michigan, than Washington, D.C., that I can tell you."
Trump signed a $1.3 trillion spending plan to fund the government through the end of September.
Why does he say we need the wall?
Hundreds of Central American migrants traveling in a caravan is one reason the nation needs a better border wall, Trump said.
“Watch the caravan, watch how sad and terrible it is, including for those people and the crime that they inflict on themselves and that others inflict on them,” Trump said. “It’s a horrible dangerous journey for them and they come up because they know once they can get here they can walk right into our country.”
Woman and children are included in the migrants who say they are fleeing their homes in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras due to death threats from gangs, the slaying of family members or political persecution, the report states.