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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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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