Congressman Jim McGovern criticized President Trump’s insistence on the construction of a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border, saying the proposal is “immoral” and would ultimately take away from infrastructure needs in individual states, including Massachusetts.

“It doesn't make any sense to invest in things that don't work, [and] I think that what people want us to do is to not make stupid decisions with their tax dollars," McGovern said Friday in an interview with Boston Public Radio. "I think they want us to invest in things that work and not things that are just symbolic.”

The border wall was one of Trump’s biggest campaign promises — a “big, beautiful wall,” he said, that Mexico would pay for. Now the president is asking Congress for $5 billion to fund the wall's construction, threatening another government shutdown if this request does not get approved. Trump told reporters Friday there’s a “good chance” he would declare a national emergency to override congressional approval and move the wall plan forward.

“If that's where he wants to go, we'll come up with a package that Democrats and Republicans agree on and the House and Senate pass," said McGovern. "Hopefully he'll sign it, and then he can extend his temper tantrum by declaring a national emergency, and we'll see how the courts rule on that.”

Trump also told reporters he is likely to use his State of the Union speech on Feb. 5 to make another case for the wall.

“What the president is saying is, 'I need you to give me cover on a campaign promise that is based on nothing other than it was a good applause line,'” McGovern said. “And throw billions of dollars into that at a time we don't have money to rebuild our own infrastructure here in Massachusetts and around the country. It is just so stupid.”

According to McGovern, Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate are more willing to compromise on border security than the wall narrative would lead their constituents to believe.

“We all believe we ought to have border security and — quite frankly — there was no controversy in December,” McGovern said. “We were ready in the House to approve overwhelmingly the bill the Senate passed to keep the government running. Then Donald Trump turns on the radio and listens to Ann Coulter, and all of a sudden he throws a wrench into everything and says, ‘Now I need this border wall.’”