Bipartisan negotiations to avert a shutdown by a deadline of this Friday have broken down.
Congressional Democrats and Republicans had hoped to be finalizing an agreement by now. But they have largely stopped communicating about a compromise that would keep the government open while allocating some money for border security and barriers.
The sticking point: Talks collapsed over Democrats’ effort to force Immigration and Customs Enforcement to limit the number of beds in its detention centers to 16,500 by focusing on detaining migrants with criminal records instead of people who have overstayed their visas.
Behind the scenes: President Trump vowed to build his promised wall “one way or the other,” and officials are in what one described as a surreal scramble to map how he might declare a national emergency to do so. One proposal is to claim that the wall would be built to protect the thousands of troops now operating near the border or deploying there soon.