President Donald Trump reaffirmed his support for a border wall on Monday night during a rally in El Paso, Texas, as news broke there may be a possible deal and agreement “in principle” to avert another government shutdown.
The federal government is reopened for now, but another shutdown could come later in the week. The sticking point continues to be whether to fund a security wall along the southern border to deter illegal immigration.
Trump seemed somewhat doubtful during his rally over news that congressional negotiators were close to a deal.
“I have to say as I was walking to the stage they said progress is being made with this committee,” Trump told the crowd. “Just so you know, we’re building the wall anyway. They say progress has been made with this committee. Just now. I said, ‘Wait a minute, I need to take care of my people from Texas.’ I don’t even want to hear about it now.”
Trump also said he would not sign any bill that included ideas such as allowing the mass release of criminal aliens or abolishing the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency.
He promised to always stand with the border patrol agency. Trump also stressed that he supports people coming into the country legally — and based on merit.
“So I don’t what they mean by progress,” Trump said on Monday night. “What did happen is the Democrats were being hit hard on the concept of releasing criminals into our society. That has not been playing well. So maybe progress has been made, maybe not. But I had a choice. I could have stayed out there and listened — or I could have come out to the people of El Paso, Texas. I choose you.”
Trump gave his speech to an enormous crowd of approximately 10,000 people in the same rally style he’s become known for since the early days of his 2016 presidential campaign. He also used the opportunity to tout the other successes of his administration, such as the strengthening economy. Trump echoed many of the same points on border security earlier in the day during a press conference with sheriffs from across the country.
Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) held his own rally at the same time on Monday night with fellow Democrats in El Paso. He is considered a possible presidential contender but has …