During his last days serving in the U.S. House, Rep. Bruce Poliquin of Maine has been pressing to help President Trump get the wall he wants along the country’s border with Mexico.

“The greatest Christmas gift for America is securing our borders,” the two-term, lame duck Republican said during a speech in the House this week. “We have one heck of a problem on our southwest border with Mexico in California, New Mexico and Arizona.”

The 2nd District lawmaker said he talked with nearly every Republican member of the House and urged Trump to push them to pass a spending bill that would include provisions to clamp down on immigration – going beyond the wall to limit entry into the United States.

Instead, the House approved a Republican-backed spending bill that includes $5.7 billion for border security that appeared to have no chance to pass the Senate before the deadline midnight Friday to prevent a partial federal government shutdown.

Poliquin, who was defeated in last month’s election by Democrat Jared Golden, warned Trump that he must act now.

“It is not too late, but it is getting too late,” Poliquin said.

“After the Democrats take control of this body” on Jan. 3, Poliquin warned members of the House this week, “they have told us what they will bring or try to bring to the president’s desk. It will not be what the president wants. It will not be what America wants. It will be some form of open border, sanctuary cities and amnesty.”

Poliquin said this is the last chance to push through “a real strong border security and immigration bill.”

He cautioned Trump and the Republican Party not to settle for less.

“Why would we want to negotiate for peanuts when we can get the whole ball of wax?” Poliquin said.

Poliquin asked the president to push for a measure that failed earlier in the session that called for $25 billion for border security measures that included a wall.

It also sought to end visa lotteries for would-be Americans, rein in so-called “chain migration” that gives family members of Americans greater priority for visas and “reforms the asylum process” to make it more difficult for refugees claiming asylum.

“We have the votes to do this,” Poliquin said, and Republicans ought to pursue it.

“It is the responsibility of the United States House of Representatives, this body, and also the United States Senate, to protect our families,” Poliquin said. “There is nothing more important as dictated by the United States Constitution, than to protect our families.”

Poliquin said it is “common sense to secure our borders, know who is entering our country. I will tell you, my heart goes out to these folks who have made their way from Central America to the other side of the border fence with Texas, in Mexico, wanting to come in here. But we don’t know who they are.”

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