President Donald Trump threatened in a tweet on Sunday to shut down the federal government this fall should Democratic lawmakers refuse to vote for his hard-line immigration measures, including increased border security and funding for Trump’s long-promised southern border wall.

“I would be willing to ‘shut down’ government if the Democrats do not give us the votes for Border Security, which includes the Wall!” Trump tweeted. “Must get rid of Lottery, Catch & Release etc. and finally go to system of Immigration based on MERIT!”


The government has already shut down twice since Trump took office, both times early this year. In a separate Twitter post Monday morning, the president explicitly mentioned the need to “protect” Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and to eliminate so-called “sanctuary cities,” liberal havens where immigrants and refugees are often allowed to safely stay regardless of federal immigration laws.

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According to reports, federal funding for the border wall is scheduled to expire on Sept. 30, just 37 days before November’s midterm elections. The House is currently in recess, and congressmen will return after Labor Day. The Senate will be on break the week starting August 6. Republicans — who are desperate to retain majority in the midterms — earlier this month released a spending bill that allots $5 billion in 2019 to the construction of the wall. Trump has requested $25 billion for the project.

Trump and his administration have been repeatedly criticized for separating immigrant families at the border. Trump signed an executive order ending the practice after facing severe backlash from both sides of the aisle, and although many families have since been reunited, hundreds still remain apart.

The president has also refused to revive the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program since it expired in March. DACA was implemented to help give “Dreamers” — migrant children who came to the U.S. at a young age —a path to citizenship. Hardline conservatives and moderate Republicans in the House have been caught in a skirmish over this issue for months.

Meanwhile, many liberals have repeatedly called for abolishing ICE, arguing it is a corrupt and costly agency.

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Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton‘s running mate in 2016, was one of many lawmakers to blast Trump’s shutdown threat on Twitter.