President Trump said Tuesday that a “drone flying around” will not stop the new migrant caravan that is moving from Central America toward the U.S. border with Mexico, doubling down on his claims that “Only a Wall will work.”
“A big new Caravan is heading up to our Southern Border from Honduras. Tell Nancy and Chuck 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! Stop playing political games and end the Shutdown!” Trump tweeted early Tuesday.
The president’s tweet comes on day 25 of the partial government shutdown, which has left hundreds of thousands of federal workers and contractors without pay. The shutdown began on Dec. 22, over a border security funding battle between the White House and congressional Democrats, led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.
The president requested $5.7 billion in funding toward border security and construction of a wall or physical barrier along the border, while Democrats vowed to block any request for wall funding.
Last week, the president mentioned the new caravan and said “we’re trying to break it up.” But the caravan of at least 500 migrants began its journey from Honduras to the U.S. border late Monday, members of the group told Fox News.
The caravan left the northern city of San Pedro Sula earlier than expected. The group consists of a mix of people that included some mothers carrying their young children on their shoulders. As they walked, some migrants pleaded with local store owners to give them food or water for their journey, according to The Associated Press.
The president has continued to sound the alarm over the immigration flow along the border, saying that it amounts to an “invasion,” and called it “far worse” than people understand after he visited the front-lines in Texas last week. Trump has repeatedly called it a “humanitarian crisis”—one that Democrats have claimed he “manufactured.”
Meanwhile, the president has continued to say the public is with him as he tries to shift blame for the shutdown to the Democrats.
“Democrats will soon be known as the Party of Crime. Ridiculous that they don’t want Border Security!” Trump tweeted Tuesday.
But as more than 800,000 federal workers missed their first paychecks, fresh polling suggests the president is losing the battle of public opinion.
A Quinnipiac University poll released Monday found that 63 percent of voters agree with the Democratic proposal to reopen parts of the government that do not involve border security, with 30 percent opposed. The same poll founded 63 percent also oppose using the shutdown to force wall funding, with just 32 percent supporting.
The poll found that 56 percent of American voters blame Trump and Republicans in Congress for the partial shutdown, compared with 36 percent who say Democrats are responsible.
Neither side is showing any sign of budging, with Trump continuing to insist on upwards of nearly $6 billion for a border wall and Democratic leaders saying they will not entertain a wall in this spending package.
Fox News’ Dan Gallo, Edward DeMarche, Andrew O’Reilly and The Associated Press contributed to this report.