Trump set for major speech on wall

128 views

US President Donald Trump says he will make a “major announcement” later on his Mexican border wall, an issue that has partially shut down government.

The shutdown, now in its fifth week, is the longest in US history and has left 800,000 federal workers unpaid.

Mr Trump insists on $5.7bn funding for the wall but opposition Democrats refuse to support it.

Correspondents say Mr Trump may offer a concession on so-called Dreamers, young illegal immigrants in the US.

Mr Trump insists the wall is needed to end a security crisis on the southern border, while the Democrats call it a waste of taxpayers’ money.

When is the announcement and what could it include?

It will be from the White House on Saturday afternoon, although it has been put back an hour to 16:00 local time (21:00 GMT).

Mr Trump had a brief exchange with reporters on Saturday morning but gave little away, saying: “I think it’ll be an important statement.”

Sources told US media Mr Trump may extend protection for Dreamers for three years and also extend visas for Temporary Protection Status holders. More than 300,000 people from countries affected by war or disasters are allowed to live and work in the US under TPS, another system Mr Trump opposes.

Mr Trump will continue to demand $5.7bn for the wall, the sources say.

They also say it is unlikely he will declare a national emergency over the wall.

Such a declaration would free up funds, probably from defence department spending, but be hugely controversial and would almost certainly spark legal challenges.