Trump heading to US-Mexico border as shutdown chaos bites

Donald Trump is taking his border wall battle to the front line, with the United States in turmoil on the 17th day of government shutdown.

Donald Trump is heading to the US-Mexico border this week, with the United States in chaos and an immigration crisis looming after 17 days of partial government shutdown.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted :

Mr Trump is demanding $US5.6 billion ($A7.9 billion) to fund his long-promised border wall on the southern border, but Democrats have refused to agree to provide money for the plan they see as “immoral”.

It means Congress has not been able to pass funding for key government agencies, with services on hold and 800,000 federal workers on leave without pay or working without pay.

National parks, airports and immigration courts are struggling to function, and the dire situation for America is only set to get worse as the government remains at an impasse.

But Mr Trump tweeted that all was going well with his plans to build a steel wall, rather than a concrete one as he initially planned.

The Democrats only want to provide $US1.3 billion ($A1.8 billion) for border security, with funding for a fence instead of a wall.

With Democrats now holding the majority in the House of Representatives and Republicans controlling the Senate, some bipartisan agreement is essential.

But ongoing talks have come to nothing, with both sides sticking to their original positions.

Mr Trump in recent days said he would be prepared to declare a national emergency to redirect defence department money toward wall construction.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi attacked the idea on Sunday, telling CBS News the President “would like to not only close government, build a wall, but also abolish Congress so the only voice that mattered was his own.”

Mr Trump insists that only his controversial wall will be sufficient to solve US immigration issues, stating last week that he would be willing to leave the government in shutdown for “months or even years” if necessary.

He said Republicans “feel very strongly about having a safe country, about having a border that makes sense.”

Some Republican politicians have suggested tying funding for the wall to support for young immigrants known as “Dreamers”, but neither the President or Democratic Party have indicated that they would agree to this.

Mr Trump’s journey to the wall will draw the eyes of the world’s media to the face of the political battle, as the argument swells into perhaps the greatest battle of his turbulent presidency.

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