President Trump visits US-Mexico border Thursday as government shutdown continues

Posted at 8:41 AM, Jan 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-11 06:42:51-05

President Trump visited the southern border on Thursday as he continues to push for a border wall amid the ongoing partial government shutdown.

The White House says Trump's trip allowed him "to meet with those on the frontlines of the national security and humanitarian crisis."

LIVE UPDATES (Information is provided by the Associated Press)

  • 7:15 p.m. ET (Thursday): The former head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency says what's happening on the U.S. southern border is no emergency. W. Craig Fugate, who ran the national disaster agency for nearly eight years under President Barack Obama and was head of Florida's disaster agency under a Republican governor, says the push of refugees seeking asylum on the border with Mexico is not a national emergency. President Donald Trump has called it a crisis and is weighing declaring it a national emergency to bypass a reluctant Congress and fund his long-promised border wall. Fugate says Trump "is posturing, blustering."
  • 6:40 p.m. ET (Thursday): The Senate approved a bill to ensure that all federal employees will be paid retroactively after the partial government shutdown ends. The bill requires that all employees — including those who have been furloughed — be paid as soon as possible once the government reopens. The Senate approved the bill unanimously Thursday. It now goes to the House.
  • 6:25 p.m. ET (Thursday): The White House has directed the Army Corps of Engineers to look at using emergency funds that Congress approved for disaster relief to build a border wall with Mexico. That's according to a congressional aide familiar with the matter who was not authorized to speak publicly. The aide said the $13.9 billion has been allocated but not yet obligated through contracts for a variety of projects in California, Florida, Texas, other states and Puerto Rico, which have experienced hurricanes, wildfires or other natural disasters.
  • 5:45 p.m. ET (Thursday): Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham says it's time for President Trump to invoke emergency powers to build the border wall with Mexico. Graham says House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's refusal to negotiate the wall "virtually ends" Congress' ability to pass a bill to fund it. Now, he says, "it is time for President Trump to use emergency powers to fund the construction" of a border wall or barrier. Trump said Thursday he might declare the border situation a national emergency, which could free up funding from military projects.
  • 5:35 p.m. ET (Thursday): Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick told President Donald Trump the state will build a wall along parts of the US-Mexico border if the federal government pays Texas back. Patrick was with Trump in McAllen. Texas has 1,200 miles of border with Mexico and has the largest sections of border without barriers.
  • 4:50 p.m. ET (Thursday): The Democratic-controlled house has passed two more bills to fund government agencies as part of a strategy to end the partial government shutdown. One bill will fund the Transportation and Housing and Urban Development departments, while the other would provide money for the Agriculture Department. The House voted Wednesday on bills to reopen the Treasury Department and IRS.
  • 4:15 p.m. ET (Thursday): Trump said, "a lot of the crime in our country is caused by what's coming through here," while standing along Rio Grande.
  • 2:22 p.m. ET (Thursday): VP Mike Pence says Trump has made "no decision" about declaring a national emergency to build a border wall with Mexico.
  • 1:40 p.m. ET (Thursday): President Trump arrives in McAllen, Texas to make the case for his long-promised border wall.
  • 12:50 p.m. ET (Thursday): Hundreds of protesters have gathered at the South Texas airport where President Trump is scheduled to arrive for his trip to the border. They are chanting and waving signs opposing the border wall. Meanwhile, a smaller group of protesters has formed across the street chanting "build that wall!"


President Trump departed Washington, D.C. for McAllen, Texas around 9:25 a.m. Thursday.

Before he left for his trip, Trump threatened to declare a national emergency to circumvent Congress if he can't reach a deal with Democrats to fund his border wall. When he was asked about a national emergency declaration as he left the White House for Texas, Trump said "I'm not prepared to do that yet, but If I have to I will." "So we're either going to have a win, make a compromise — because I think a compromise is a win for everybody — or I will declare a national emergency," he added.

Air Force One arrived at McAllen International Airport around 2 p.m. ET. Thursday.

Trump participated in a round-table discussion on immigration and border security at approximately 2:10 p.m. at the Border Patrol McAllen Station. He was at the Rio Grande to receive a briefing on border security at 3:45 p.m. ET. He departed McAllen, Texas around 4:40 p.m. ET to head back to Washington, D.C.

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