Top Catholic bishop calls for Trump, Congress to end shutdown

Top Catholic bishop calls for Trump, Congress to end shutdown
© Greg Nash

The chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Migration on Thursday called for President TrumpDonald John TrumpHow to stand out in the crowd: Kirsten Gillibrand needs to find her niche Countdown clock is on for Mueller conclusions Omar: White supremacist attacks are rising because Trump publicly says 'Islam hates us' MORE and congressional leaders "to come together and end the shutdown" that's now in its 20th day.

"The President and Congressional leaders need to come together and end the shut-down with a solution that recognizes the dignity of work of affected employees, respects the humanity of all regardless of immigration status, and protects the sanctity of human life," Bishop Joseph Vásquez said in a statement.

He added that secure U.S. borders and "humane treatment of those fleeing persecution and seeking a better life are not mutually exclusive."

"The United States can ensure both and must do so without instilling fear or sowing hatred. We will continue to advocate for immigration reform to advance the common good and address these issues," he said.

The statement came as the partial government shutdown, which began on Dec. 22, moves closer to becoming the longest on record. President Trump and Democrats remain at odds over funding for the president's proposed border wall.

Trump has demanded Congress approve $5.7 billion to begin construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Democrats have rejected that proposal.

Trump said Thursday that he "probably" would declare a national emergency to build the wall if Congress does not provide the funding. 

“If this doesn't work out, probably I will do it. I would almost say definitely,” Trump told reporters outside the White House, adding that he prefers to work out a deal in Congress.
 
He made the comments before traveling to McAllen, Texas, where he further pressed his case for building a wall.