indica News Bureau –
Some kind of physical barrier along the international border with Mexico is a must but spending $5.2 billion to build a wall is a “waste” of taxpayers’ money, Indian-American Democratic Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi has said.
“The majority of Americans not only oppose a wall, but the vast majority of Americans don’t want a shutdown because of the wall. And so let’s open up government now,” Krishnamoorthi was quoted as saying in media reports.
The US government shutdown entered its third week with Donald Trump and congressional Democrats at an impasse over the President’s demand for nearly $6 billion in federal funding to build a wall on the southern border.
Trump has threatened to drag on the shutdown for months or even years if he does not get funding for the border wall.
“We’re open to some physical barriers. Certainly, there’s already fencing on the border. There are 700 miles of fencing on the border,” Krishnamoorthi told CNN in an interview.
“For me personally, we have to fight illegal immigration and protect our borders. I think that there is a lot of support for enhancing border security. But there’s no support for a wall,” he added.
In the latest tweet, Trump said he would “address the nation” on Tuesday over the ongoing “humanitarian and national security crisis” on the country’s southern border, two days before his scheduled trip to the region.
Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has flatly rejected providing any funding for the border wall to resolve the stalemate.
Krishnamoorthi, however, called for the end of the existing government shutdown.
“The wall has become a big keep out sign to the rest of the world. And that’s not what we want,” he said.
A White House official said Trump wants to make his case about the government shutdown and wall funding in advance of Thursday’s border trip.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders announced on Monday morning that Trump will head to the US-Mexico border to “meet with those on the front lines of the national security and humanitarian crisis”.