Trump says if immigration legislation doesn’t change ‘let’s have a shutdown’
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Trump says if immigration legislation doesn’t change ‘let’s have a shutdown’

February 7, 2018

The Raw Data

Unspun and unbiased. These are the facts.

On Tuesday, U.S. President Donald Trump said at a White House roundtable, “if we don’t change [the immigration legislation], let’s have a [government] shutdown.” The focus of the roundtable was on immigration and the crime group known as MS-13.

Trump said, “incredible professionals at the table cannot do their job unless we change, really, the legislation,” and “if we don’t rid of these loopholes” that allow violent criminals into the country, “let’s have a shutdown.” He said, “it’s worth it for our country. I’d love to see a shutdown if we don’t get this stuff taken care of.” 

At the end of the meeting, when Trump was asked to clarify his remarks on the issue, he said, “I would shut it down over this issue. … I can’t speak for our great representatives here, but I have a feeling they may agree with me.” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders later said the administration was “not advocating for a shutdown.”

If Congress doesn’t pass a spending plan by Thursday, the government may shutdown for the second time this year. Lawmakers have been discussing changes to immigration law as part of the spending deal negotiations.

January’s government shutdown

A three-day partial government shutdown took place last month when the Senate failed to approve a short-term spending bill. As part of the spending bill negotiations, Senate Democrats sought to extend the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Democrats also asked for increased funding for disaster relief and opioid treatment programs.

The shutdown ended on Jan. 22 when the Senate approved a temporary spending bill to fund the government through Feb. 8. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said the Senate would discuss legal protections for DACA recipients in the following weeks.

Trump’s immigration plan

Trump has proposed an immigration plan, which includes:

  • A path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants enrolled in the DACA program.
  • $25 billion in funding for a U.S.-Mexican border wall and $5 billion for increased border security.
  • Changing or eliminating the diversity visa lottery system.
  • Limiting family-based immigration.

Senate negotiations

Earlier on Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said a meeting with McConnell went “very well” and that there was “progress on a spending deal.” The Senate leaders said they were working on a two-year budget agreement.

House bill

Separately, the House passed another short-term spending bill Tuesday night, in a 245 to 182 vote. The bill, which would fund the government through March 23, now goes to the Senate.

Sources: CNN, Fox News, NBC News, Politico, The Hill, USA Today