If the government shuts down Saturday, it will be Democrats’ fault, President Donald Trump said Wednesday.
“It could happen. The Democrats are really looking at something that is very dangerous for our country,” Trump said ahead of a Cabinet meeting, according to a White House pool report. “They are looking at shutting down.”
The shutdown could happen this weekend if lawmakers don’t reach an agreement on a continuing resolution that would fund the government until Dec. 22. Trump suggested Wednesday that Democrats’ push for deportation relief for so-called Dreamers ― young, undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children ― was the problem.
“They want to have illegal immigrants, in many cases people that we don’t want in our country ― they want to have illegal immigrants pouring into our country, bring with them crime, tremendous amounts of drugs,” he said. “We don’t want to have that. We want to have a great, beautiful, crime-free country. And we want people to come into our country but we want [them] to come on our basis.”
They want to have illegal immigrants pouring into our country. Trump on Democrats' concern for Dreamers
Senate Republicans said in November Trump ruled out attaching protections for Dreamers to a spending bill. Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) said Republicans likely wouldn’t address the status of Dreamers until January or February.
Cornyn and other GOP senators proposed a sweeping immigration bill on Tuesday that would address DACA, but not provide Dreamers with an opportunity for permanent legal status, along with a conservative wish-list of changes to border security, enforcement and legal immigration. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), the leading proponent of legal status for Dreamers, rejected that proposal.
Elise Foley contributed to this report.
This story has been updated.