COLUMBIA, South Carolina — The border wall debate continued in Columbia on Saturday, as a small group of supporters and protesters gathered downtown.

Members of the South Carolina Conservative Action Council say they organized the rally to stress the importance of the wall, calling it an issue of national survival.

"The border's wide open, we don't know who's coming into our country," South Carolina Conservative Action Council Chairman William Carter said. "We know there's a lot of criminal elements and things like that; we want to defend our country."

Opponents argued a wall wouldn't be effective at keeping out illegal immigrants with many encouraging open borders.

"We should have open borders; we're the richest country in the world," Kymberly Smith said. "When we found out these people across the street were having a pro-border wall rally, we knew we had to combat that because it is just blatant racism."

In Washington, President Donald Trump is threatening another government shutdown if additional funding for border security is not made available by February 15.

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