Stephen Miller Doubles Down on Trump’s Promise to Shut Down the Government

The president wants $5 billion for his border wall by next week—or else.

Ron Sachs/ZUMA

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Top White House aide Stephen Miller made a combative Face the Nation appearance Sunday, doubling down on President Donald Trump’s promise to shut down the government if Democrats don’t approve funding for a wall spanning the United States’ 1,933-mile border with Mexico in the next week.

“Absolutely,” Miller affirmed when asked if a government shutdown was on the table.

The border wall holds great symbolic significance to Trump and his most fervent supporters after it featured loudly in his 2016 campaign. The cost of such a wall would be astronomically expensive—one internal government report obtained by Reuters put the price tag at more than $21 billion. Trump has been demanding Democrats approve $5 billion for the border wall in an upcoming spending package.

While Democrats have argued the wall is expensive, unnecessary, and unlikely to deter illegal immigration or smuggling, recent Border Patrol crackdowns on immigrants and asylum seekers have shed light on the dangers already faced by people attempting to cross into the United States.

In early December, a 7-year-old girl identified as Jakelin Caal Maquin died of dehydration in federal custody after traveling with her father from an impoverished region of Guatemala. Her death has sparked outrage among immigrant rights advocates and some Democrats, who say it is symbolic of an already dangerous system that would be made even more deadly if the wall is built.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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