United States President Donald Trump on Friday threatened to close the southern border with Mexico “entirely” if Democrats did not agree to his demand for funds to build a wall.

“We will be forced to close the Southern Border entirely if the Obstructionist Democrats do not give us the money to finish the Wall [and] also change the ridiculous immigration laws that our country is saddled with,” the president said in a tweet. “Hard to believe there was a Congress [and] President who would approve!”

Trump’s warning comes as the partial government shutdown is likely to drag into the new year after legislators failed to reach a deal over Trump’s demand for a wall on the Mexico border. The government shut down on December 22.

In a series of tweets, Trump said that closing the southern border will impact trade and people living on the border and he considered it a “profit making operation”. “Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador are doing nothing for the United States but taking our money,” he said. “Word is that a new Caravan is forming in Honduras and they are doing nothing about it. We will be cutting off all aid to these 3 countries - taking advantage of US for years!”

Incoming acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said Trump was is threatening to shut down the border because “it’s the only way we can get the Democrats’ attention”, reported ABC News.

The Democrats have refused to provide $5.7 billion for the border wall, even as Trump insisted that the shutdown will continue till funding is secured for the wall, a promise made during his campaign days that he has pushed since assuming office. Around 8 lakh employees of the government have been affected due to the shutdown.