Trump: Without Mexico border wall, US can't solve illegal drug problem
Redacción Agencias | 4/25/2017, 7:27 a.m.
President Donald Trump insisted on Monday in a pair of Twitter posts that the border wall with Mexico, the financing of which is an obstacle blocking a budget agreement to avoid a partial shutdown of the US government, is a "very important tool" for preventing the entry of illegal drugs into this country.
"The Wall is a very important tool in stopping drugs from pouring into our country and poisoning our youth (and many others)! If..." he tweeted.
Three hours later, the president posted a second tweet finishing his earlier truncated remark, saying, "...the wall is not built, which it will be, the drug situation will NEVER be fixed the way it should be!"
Trump is insisting that the budget agreement being negotiated by lawmakers to avoid a partial shutdown of the US government include funding for the wall, but that demand is complicating the negotiations.
Lawmakers return to work on Monday after a recess, and they have until midnight on Friday, April 28, to reach a budget agreement to prevent the partial government shutdown due to lack of funds, a situation that occurred in 2013.
The White House has asked Congress to approve $1.4 billion for building the wall in the budget agreement to fund government operations.
But Democratic congressional leaders oppose including funds for the wall in the budget and have warned that if Trump does not withdraw his demand, they will allow the government to be shut down.
Over the weekend, Trump criticized that stance in another Twitter message, saying: "The Democrats don't want money from budget going to border wall despite the fact that it will stop drugs and very bad MS 13 gang members," referring to the Mara Salvatrucha gang, known as MS-13.
The president also said in yet another tweet that Mexico will wind up paying "at a later date ... in some form" for the border wall, although the US will put up the funds to start construction on the "badly needed" barrier.
With that tweet, Trump seemed to break the agreement that he had reached in January with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto not to speak in public about who will pay for the wall the US leader wants to build.
The estimated cost of building the wall, one of Trump's key campaign promises, has risen from the $8 billion initially calculated by the mogul to $21.6 billion, according to the latest figures from the Department of Homeland Security.