U.S. President Donald Trump contended Tuesday that a new migrant caravan leaving Honduras justifies his demand for a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border to keep them from surging into the United States.
"A big new Caravan is heading up to our Southern Border from Honduras," Trump said on Twitter. He urged people to tell House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, the top Democratic leaders who oppose his demand that U.S. taxpayers pay for a wall, "that a drone flying around will not stop them. Only a Wall will work. Only a Wall, or Steel Barrier, will keep our Country safe!"
He told Pelosi and Schumer to "Stop playing political games and end the Shutdown!" -- the record 25-day partial government closure spawned by the dispute over Trump's demand for more than $5 billion to build a border barrier. Democrats have offered $1.3 billion for improved border security, but none specifically for a wall.
About 800,000 federal workers have been furloughed or ordered to work without pay in the Trump stalemate with Democratic lawmakers, an impasse that has curtailed government services, such as airport security monitoring, and closed some museums and parks.
"Why is Nancy Pelosi getting paid when people who are working are not?" Trump tweeted.
The White House said that it invited Republican and Democratic lawmakers to lunch to discuss the shutdown, but only Republicans accepted. "It's time for the Democrats to come to the table and make a deal," White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said.
Trump said, "Polls are now showing that people are beginning to understand the Humanitarian Crisis and Crime at the Border. Numbers are going up fast, over 50%. Democrats will soon be known as the Party of Crime. Ridiculous that they don't want Border Security!"