President Donald Trump on Thursday cancelled his upcoming trip to the annual international conference at Davos, blaming the ongoing row in Washington over building wall on the border with Mexico.
“I am respectfully cancelling my very important trip to Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum,” he said in a tweet.
Trump blamed opposition Democrats’ “intransigence” over his demand for $5.7 billion to extend a border wall with Mexico. As a side-effect of the row, swaths of the US government are temporarily closed, leaving more than 800,000 employees without pay.
Trump again threatened to declare a national emergency along the border with Mexico as he seeks funding for a wall he says will keep out dangerous immigrants — his latest jab in a fight with Democrats in Congress that has now shut down parts of the government for a record-tying 21 days.
Trump had been due to make a brief appearance at the annual Davos get-together, which runs between January 21-25.
Meanwhile, Trump invoked illegal immigrant from Pakistan, China and India in his argument to build a wall along his country’s Mexican border and step up the ante in a drawn-out battle with Congress over release of funds amid a government shutdown.
Trump flew to the Texas border with Mexico on Thursday to try to bolster his case for the border wall as the government shutdown tied to the issue stretched into its 20th day with no sign of new talks to resolve the impasse. The shutdown will be the longest in US history if it is still going on by Saturday.
During the tour, a law enforcement officer told Trump that a greater percentage of apprehensions in recent weeks had involved people from places other than Mexico and Central America. He cited people from Pakistan, China and India as specific examples.
Flanked by border agents who are going without paychecks Trump threatened to use emergency powers to bypass Congress to pay for the wall on the US-Mexico border. “We can declare a national emergency. We shouldn’t have to,” Trump told reporters. “This is just common sense.”
Raul Ortiz, a local border patrol official, told Trump and reporters that 133 people from countries other than Mexico and those in central America — including India, Pakistan, China and Romania — had been apprehended in the stretch of territory around McAllen. — Agencies