Trump threatens government shutdown in September if no funding for Mexico wall

US President Donald Trump threatened to shut down the federal government in September if Congress did not provide more funding to build a wall on the border with Mexico.

Workers replace an old section of the wall between the US and Mexico in Santa Teresa, New Mexico State, US, on April 23, 2018.
Workers replace an old section of the wall between the US and Mexico in Santa Teresa, New Mexico State, US, on April 23, 2018. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON, MICHIGAN (REUTERS) - US President Donald on Saturday (April 28) threatened to shut down the federal government in September if Congress did not provide more funding to build a wall on the border with Mexico.

"That wall has started, we have 1.6 billion (dollars)," Mr Trump said at a campaign rally in Washington, Michigan.

"We come up again on September 28th and if we don't get border security we will have no choice, we will close down the country because we need border security."

Mr Trump made a similar threat in March to push for changes in immigration law that he says would prevent criminals from entering the country. The government briefly shut down in January over immigration.

A US$1.3 trillion (S$1.7 trillion) spending bill, which Mr Trump signed last month (March), will keep the government funded through the end of September. A government shutdown ahead of the November mid-elections is unlikely to be supported by his fellow Republicans who are keen to keep control of the US Congress.

Mr Trump cited the hundreds of Central American migrants travelling in a "caravan" as one of the reasons for strong border security.

"Watch the caravan, watch how sad and terrible it is, including for those people and the crime that they inflict on themselves and that others inflict on them," said Mr Trump.

"It's a horrible dangerous journey for them and they come up because they know once they can get here they can walk right into our country."

Migrants, who include women and children, have said they fled their homes in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras because of death threats from gangs, the murder of family members or political persecution.