US Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders says Americans are not interested President Donald Trump’s multi-billion-dollar wall and that it “will not be paid for by Mexico.”
In a statement on Saturday, Sanders reacted to the nearly $18 billion the Republican commander in chief has asked to fund the border wall he had promised to build in his 2016 presidential campaign.
“I am not sure why President Trump wants to shut down the government over a multi-billion dollar wall that no one wants, is not needed and will not be paid for by Mexico,” said the Vermont lawmaker, who ran in the 2016 primaries.
Instead, the Democrat called for legal protection for the so-called Dreamers.
“What the American people do want, in overwhelming numbers, is to provide legal protection to 800,000 Dreamers and a path toward citizenship for them,” he noted.
Speaking among reporters at Camp David earlier in the day, Trump speculated that the US’ southern neighbor would pay for the wall although officials in Mexico City have asserted on numerous occasions that they do not have such an intention.
“I believe Mexico will pay for the wall. I have a very good relationship with Mexico. But yes, in some form, Mexico will pay for the wall,” said the president.
On Friday, the Trump administration proposed spending nearly $18 billion over the next 10 years to construct the wall.
The Republican president has vowed to crack down on immigration but has failed to get his complete agenda through so far.
“President Trump has said he may need a good government shutdown to get his wall,” said Democratic Senator Dick Durbin in response to the administration’s proposed border plan. “With this demand, he seems to be heading in that direction.”
Since campaigning for the 2016 presidential election, Trump has been accused of stoking racial, ethnic and religious tensions lurking within America.
The president is expected to host a bipartisan meeting early next week to discuss the wall.