Republicans can't avoid Trump's wall promises in DACA talks

It's the campaign promise that Republicans just can't shake.President Donald Trump is insisting that his "big ...

Posted: Jan 9, 2018 9:30 AM
Updated: Jan 9, 2018 9:30 AM

It's the campaign promise that Republicans just can't shake.

President Donald Trump is insisting that his "big beautiful" border wall be part of any deal to protect hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation.

President Donald Trump campaign on a promise to build a physical border wall

For more than a year, Republicans have tried to downplay the issue

'The wall is a necessary part of this deal because the President campaigned on it'

As congressional negotiators forge ahead with plans to shield recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program from deportation ahead of a March deadline, Republicans and Democrats are grappling with how to give Trump a symbolic win without sabotaging a compromise they've been carefully and sincerely crafting for months.

For more than a year, Republicans have tried to downplay Trump's border wall, ignore it, even blast it. Members of the GOP who have spent decades on immigration reform have reiterated time and time again that a border wall is hardly the most effective way to secure the border.

"If you only build a wall, only a 'wall,' without using technology, individuals, drones, observations, etc., you're not going to secure the border," Sen. John McCain told CNN in February 2017.

"I don't think we're just going to be able to solve border security with a physical barrier because people can come under, around it and through it," said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, told CNN at the time.

But, the wall and the President's appetite for it hasn't gone away.

On Friday, the Trump administration requested Congress spend $18 billion over the next 10 years to construct the wall. And over the weekend, Trump told reporters "we all want DACA to happen, but we also want great security for our country."

The wall now represents a complicated political question for Republicans and Democrats. How can the GOP give Trump a win on the wall without alienating Democrats from a bipartisan solution on DACA?

The answer may be in semantics.

"I think it's a mistake to think of the border wall as a standalone," Cornyn, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, told CNN Monday. "It is part of a system that will include technology and include more border patrol and it's going to have to be integrated along the entire border and northern border as well so yeah, it's going to be part of it, but what I want to see is a comprehensive security solution and not just focus on one component."

The kind of "wall" many Republicans believe is realistic varies greatly from the hundreds-of-miles-long concrete barrier that Trump may have imagined when he campaigned for President.

Ahead of a bipartisan meeting at the White House Tuesday, the question is becoming whether Democrats can accept some version of a wall (albeit they'd call it something else) in exchange for protections for those who are eligible for DACA. And, if Republicans can convince Trump to accept more money for border security overall as a win on the wall.

But Democrats have long drawn a line in the sand on the wall, defeating funding it at every turn so far. Wall funding wasn't included in a stopgap year-end funding bill, nor was it ever considered when Democrats thought they'd struck a deal on DACA with Trump this fall.

If Republicans see the wall as little more than symbol of broader border security, the Democratic base has come to accept it as the ultimate concession to Trump, a physical reminder of Trump's harshest immigration policies.

Congressional leaders met with Trump at the White House last Thursday, but Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said the President's call for a wall to be part of the deal may have poisoned the well.

"Unfortunately, following that meeting, the White House issued a series of unreasonable demands entirely outside the scope of our ongoing negotiations about DACA and border security," Schumer said on the Senate floor Monday.

"To throw down a list from the hard, hard-line wing of the White House is not a very fortuitous or smart thing to do," he added.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 313942

Reported Deaths: 7240
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21580258
Hinds20330415
Harrison17879309
Rankin13594278
Jackson13429246
Madison10088217
Lee9970174
Jones8370163
Forrest7670152
Lauderdale7188241
Lowndes6387146
Lamar622486
Lafayette6184118
Washington5332133
Bolivar4801132
Oktibbeha462198
Panola4582106
Pearl River4506146
Marshall4435103
Warren4386121
Pontotoc420172
Monroe4107133
Union410076
Neshoba4030176
Lincoln3962110
Hancock378486
Leflore3493125
Sunflower335990
Tate333384
Pike3316105
Scott315773
Alcorn312768
Yazoo311469
Itawamba299777
Copiah296865
Coahoma295179
Simpson294988
Tippah288168
Prentiss279760
Adams278782
Marion269080
Leake267473
Wayne262641
Grenada261386
Covington258281
George247848
Newton246261
Winston227081
Tishomingo226667
Jasper221048
Attala214273
Chickasaw207757
Holmes188873
Clay185254
Stone182433
Tallahatchie178541
Clarke177980
Calhoun170532
Yalobusha164238
Smith162334
Walthall133945
Greene130533
Lawrence128524
Montgomery126742
Noxubee126734
Perry126338
Amite123042
Carroll121828
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis107033
Tunica105226
Claiborne102430
Benton99525
Humphreys96533
Kemper95728
Franklin83623
Quitman80716
Choctaw76318
Wilkinson67230
Jefferson65528
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 531404

Reported Deaths: 10985
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson765501522
Mobile41036805
Madison34789503
Tuscaloosa25788453
Montgomery24340589
Shelby23449249
Baldwin21154308
Lee15882171
Calhoun14511314
Morgan14306279
Etowah13843353
Marshall12232223
Houston10570281
Elmore10068205
Limestone9974151
Cullman9676194
St. Clair9661243
Lauderdale9427241
DeKalb8831186
Talladega8227176
Walker7241277
Autauga6926108
Jackson6814112
Blount6678137
Colbert6306134
Coffee5519119
Dale4838111
Russell441538
Chilton4296112
Franklin426082
Covington4129118
Tallapoosa4023152
Escambia393677
Chambers3573123
Dallas3551152
Clarke351161
Marion3122101
Pike310977
Lawrence300398
Winston274473
Bibb260964
Geneva250477
Marengo249564
Pickens234461
Barbour231057
Hale223077
Butler216069
Fayette212562
Henry188844
Cherokee185245
Randolph180542
Monroe177540
Washington167339
Macon159650
Clay156756
Crenshaw152557
Cleburne148941
Lamar142535
Lowndes138853
Wilcox127130
Bullock122841
Conecuh110529
Perry107726
Coosa107628
Sumter104732
Greene92534
Choctaw60724
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