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.

Confirmed Cases: 16769

Reported Deaths: 803
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds110426
Madison77829
Lauderdale76569
Neshoba73945
Jones70933
Scott66312
Forrest60039
DeSoto59310
Rankin4639
Leake45512
Holmes44431
Copiah3344
Jackson31415
Attala31218
Yazoo2985
Newton2924
Oktibbeha28314
Leflore28238
Lincoln28131
Wayne2803
Monroe26925
Harrison2687
Lamar2525
Lowndes2529
Pearl River21231
Pike20411
Adams20416
Warren19910
Washington1998
Lee1978
Noxubee1956
Covington1832
Bolivar16911
Jasper1684
Clarke15619
Smith15611
Lafayette1564
Kemper15611
Chickasaw14314
Coahoma1324
Clay1254
Winston1241
Carroll11911
Marion1169
Claiborne1165
Yalobusha1116
Grenada1104
Lawrence1071
Simpson1050
Sunflower963
Tate931
Hancock9012
Marshall893
Union897
Itawamba897
Webster885
Panola873
Wilkinson859
Montgomery841
Jefferson Davis823
Tippah7611
Calhoun684
Walthall670
Amite651
Humphreys647
Tunica583
Prentiss533
Choctaw522
Perry513
Pontotoc493
Jefferson421
Tishomingo360
Stone320
Quitman320
Tallahatchie311
Greene301
George302
Franklin292
Alcorn191
Benton140
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 19387

Reported Deaths: 676
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2341123
Jefferson1927105
Montgomery190544
Tuscaloosa85316
Marshall7149
Franklin5939
Lee56334
Shelby53619
Tallapoosa43566
Butler43121
Walker3973
Elmore38110
Chambers36326
Madison3594
Unassigned3144
Morgan3141
Baldwin2969
Dallas2963
Lowndes26912
Etowah26512
DeKalb2603
Autauga2485
Coffee2401
Sumter2369
Houston2275
Pike2231
Bullock2197
Colbert1972
Hale19210
Russell1870
Barbour1831
Marengo1796
Lauderdale1752
Calhoun1693
Cullman1631
Wilcox1587
Choctaw15310
Clarke1492
St. Clair1372
Randolph1288
Dale1250
Marion12511
Talladega1215
Pickens1215
Limestone1100
Chilton1081
Greene955
Macon944
Winston920
Jackson863
Henry842
Covington831
Crenshaw803
Escambia793
Bibb761
Washington746
Blount641
Lawrence510
Monroe492
Geneva450
Perry430
Conecuh421
Coosa401
Cherokee383
Clay282
Lamar280
Fayette160
Cleburne151
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