President Trump is threatening to shut down the government over immigration for the third time this year. This time it could happen just a little over a month before the highly contentious midterm elections, Vox.com reports. The government runs out of money at the end of September, a deadline congressional Republicans are eager to meet in order to avoid any additional drama before the November elections. On Sunday, Trump tweeted that he would again be willing to veto a spending bill, if “Democrats do not give us the votes” on everything from border security, so-called “catch and release” and the diversity visa lottery. The last thing Republicans want is to defend an unpopular government shutdown over Trump’s already unpopular immigration agenda.
Trump doesn’t just want a border wall. He’s also asking for two very politically contentious and sweeping immigration reforms: One is an end to “catch and release,” what Republicans call the practice of releasing undocumented immigrants from detention and allowing them to live in the U.S. while they wait for their asylum claims to be adjudicated. Trump’s administration has attacked this practice from the start — claiming it’s allowed for “widespread lawlessness.” Also at stake are sweeping reforms to legal immigration. Every immigration proposal the White House has offered so far has demanded changes to the legal immigration system — from getting rid of the diversity visa lottery program to ending family-based immigration. The idea is that people should only be allowed to enter the U.S. if they demonstrate a valuable asset, instead of just being sponsored by their relatives. Trump’s proposed reforms would substantially cut the number of legal immigrants that would be allowed into the U.S., a reform that not only is a non-starter for Democrats but is one traditional Republicans are also uncomfortable with.