Donald Trump tweets ‘we will build a human wall if necessary’; some supporters take it literally
- Men and women, waving American and Confederate flags, link hands in support of the wall’s construction over the weekend
- Lawmakers hope to announce a border security deal to avoid a second shutdown
Hours before his State of the Union address on February 5, President Donald Trump said on Twitter that “tremendous numbers of people are coming up through Mexico in the hopes of flooding our Southern Border.”
“We will build a Human Wall if necessary,” he wrote, threatening to use military force.
As negotiations over border security broke down in Washington over the weekend, dozens of supporters of Trump’s border wall in New Mexico joined together and took the president’s words to heart, Fox News reported.
On Saturday, they built a “human wall”.
The demonstrators formed a line across a partially fenced border in Sunland Park, New Mexico, near Ciudad Juárez in Mexico’s Chihuahua state, according to Fox News.
Men and women, waving American and Confederate flags, linked hands in support of the wall’s construction. Many wore signs around their necks bearing Trump rhetoric: “Stop the drugs they destroy our youth!” and “STOP CHILD TRAFFICKING.”
The protest comes ahead of Trump’s Monday visit to El Paso, which is located about eight miles from Sunland Park.
After a 35-day partial government shutdown, the longest in US history, Trump signed a resolution to temporarily reopen the federal government last month. Lawmakers had hoped to announce a deal on Monday, hoping to avoid the second shutdown, which is scheduled to begin in four days.
The Trump administration said on Sunday that the chances of another government shutdown had increased markedly over the weekend, as negotiations reached an impasse.
Trump has also hinted at declaring a national emergency, which would allow him to reallocate funds from other projects for construction without congressional approval – a move that would certainly face a legal challenge.
Trump deployed more than 2,000 additional troops to the border in October, ahead of the midterm elections. The Pentagon has similarly prepared to send several thousand more National Guard troops to the southern border.
The New Mexico governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham, has said that she rejected “the federal contention that there exists an overwhelming national security crisis at the southern border, along which are some of the safest communities in the country.”
“New Mexico will not take part in the president’s charade of border fearmongering by misusing our diligent National Guard troops,” Grisham added.