Washington: President Donald Trump called on Democratic lawmakers to return from their holiday break to approve more budget funds for border security and thus reopen the portions of the government that have been shut down for the past 10 days.
"I'm in the Oval Office. Democrats, come back from vacation now and give us the votes necessary for Border Security, including the Wall. You voted yes in 2006 and 2013. One more yes, but with me in office, I'll get it built, and Fast!" EFE news quoted Trump as saying on Monday.
Trump said that a "properly built" wall along the southern border will serve to cut illegal immigration by "almost 100 percent" and prevent drug and arms trafficking along the frontier as well.
The US President said that it is "incredible" that Democrats are saying building a wall is an old idea that doesn't work.
"It's incredible how Democrats can all use their ridiculous sound bite and say that a wall doesn't work. It does, and properly built, almost 100%! They say it's old technology - but so is the wheel. They now say it is immoral- but it is far more immoral for people to be dying!" he tweeted, evidently referring to the deaths of two young Guatemalan migrants in December after being apprehended by US border agents.
The administration entered its third partial shutdown on December 22 after negotiations between congressional Republicans and Democrats reached an impasse because of Trump's demand that the budget include more than $5 billion for his much-touted wall along the US-Mexico border.
Specifically, the government paralysis affects agencies in 10 departments, including Transportation and Justice, as well as dozens of national parks, which are normally a great tourist attraction.
The closure also idles some 800,000 of the 2.1 million federal workers, who will not receive paychecks while their departments and agencies are shut down due to a lack of funding.
Both the government and lawmakers have suggested that the shutdown could last into early January, when Democrats are scheduled to take over control of the House and could approve a government budget that does not include funds for Trump's wall, which Democrats regard as anathema and against American values.
This is the third government closure Trump has faced since he came into office in early 2017. The first came in January 2018 and lasted three days, while the second was in February and lasted just a few hours.