Hours before his State of the Union address last Tuesday, President Trump told his followers that “tremendous numbers of people are coming up through Mexico in the hopes of flooding our Southern Border.”
“We will build a Human Wall if necessary,” he tweeted, threatening to use military force.
As negotiations over border security broke down in Washington over the weekend, dozens of supporters of Trump’s border wall in New Mexico joined and took the president’s words to heart, Fox News Channel reported.
On Saturday, they built a “human wall.”
The demonstrators formed a line across a partly fenced border in Sunland Park, N.M., near Ciudad Juarez in Mexico’s Chihuahua state, according to Fox News. Men and women, waving American and Confederate flags, linked hands in support of the wall’s construction. Many wore signs around their necks bearing Trump rhetoric: “Stop the drugs that destroy our youth!” and “STOP CHILD TRAFFICKING.”
The protest comes ahead of Trump’s Monday visit to El Paso, which is located several miles from Sunland Park.
After a 35-day partial government shutdown, the longest in U.S. history, Trump signed a resolution to temporarily reopen the federal government last month. Lawmakers had hoped to announce a deal Monday, aiming to avoid the second shutdown, which is scheduled to begin in four days.
The Trump administration said Sunday that the chances of another government shutdown had increased markedly over the weekend, as negotiations reached an impasse. Trump has also hinted at declaring a national emergency, which would allow him to reallocate money from other projects for construction without congressional approval — a move that probably would face a legal challenge.
Trump deployed more than 2,000 additional troops to the southern border in October, ahead of the midterm election. The Pentagon has similarly prepared to send several thousand more National Guard troops.
As The Washington Post previously reported, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) said that she rejected “the federal contention that there exists an overwhelming national security crisis at the southern border, along which are some of the safest communities in the country.”
“New Mexico will not take part in the president’s charade of border fearmongering by misusing our diligent National Guard troops,” Grisham added.