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A high school student was disciplined for wearing a T-shirt in support of President Donald Trump’s border wall then he won $25,000 in a settlement.
USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – President  Donald Trump threatened Sunday to shut down the federal government unless Democrats in Congress support his immigration initiatives, including funding for a wall on the border with Mexico.

Trump also lashed out at the immigration policy that allows up to 50,000 immigrants to receive visas each year and the practice of arresting migrants for crossing the border illegally and freeing them until their cases are adjudicated. 

“I would be willing to ‘shut down’ government if the Democrats do not give us the votes for Border Security, which includes the Wall!” Trump tweeted. “Must get rid of Lottery, Catch & Release etc. and finally go to system of Immigration based on MERIT! We need great people coming into our Country!”

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The president’s tweet comes days after he met with Republican leaders in Congress to discuss a plan that would avoid a shutdown in the fall. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., presented Trump with a plan that would fund the government and delay the debate over immigration until after the midterm elections in November.

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said on CBS’ Face the Nation such a move could hurt Republican chances in the fall.

“So I certainly don’t like playing shut down politics,” Johnson said. 

Trump wants $5 billion in funding for the border wall this year, but he had signaled to leaders that he might be willing to wait until after the midterms, given that Senate Democrats are unlikely to agree to that amount. His latest tweet throws those discussions into question.

The government has already twice gone unfunded this year. In January, when lawmakers were at another spending-and-immigration impasse, largely over the fates of undocumented immigrants facing deportation. The shutdown lasted for less than three days.

Just a few weeks later, in February, the government went unfunded for five-and-a-half hours after Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., protested against spending increases in the funding bill.

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