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: 468498

Reported Deaths: 9100
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison31907468
Hinds30552569
DeSoto29532342
Jackson22868335
Rankin21016355
Lee14393214
Madison13961263
Jones13053215
Forrest12879231
Lauderdale11244292
Lowndes10148171
Lamar9972122
Pearl River8569208
Lafayette8008136
Hancock7110107
Oktibbeha6764117
Washington6756146
Neshoba6350200
Monroe6304156
Warren6267159
Panola6036122
Pontotoc599292
Bolivar5960143
Marshall5917115
Union558885
Pike5424133
Lincoln5192127
Alcorn509388
George454766
Scott447392
Leflore4377138
Tippah431780
Itawamba429192
Prentiss429074
Copiah423883
Simpson4238108
Wayne419663
Tate418999
Adams4174109
Yazoo411486
Sunflower4057104
Covington404891
Marion399699
Leake389784
Coahoma385996
Newton360273
Grenada3489100
Stone342657
Tishomingo320987
Attala318285
Jasper308261
Winston298191
Clay282672
Chickasaw277464
Clarke271784
Holmes257685
Calhoun256939
Smith241546
Yalobusha215447
Tallahatchie213849
Walthall203457
Lawrence202431
Greene202045
Perry195053
Amite191251
Webster191141
Noxubee173437
Montgomery168652
Jefferson Davis164041
Carroll158936
Tunica146533
Benton137531
Kemper136538
Claiborne124134
Choctaw123824
Humphreys122036
Franklin114127
Quitman100925
Wilkinson98335
Jefferson85832
Sharkey61620
Issaquena1916
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 757893

Reported Deaths: 12784
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1082301712
Mobile694251158
Madison47738562
Baldwin35347420
Shelby34758281
Tuscaloosa32576495
Montgomery32249645
Lee21576200
Calhoun19621363
Morgan19061307
Etowah18363413
Marshall17028252
Houston15881337
St. Clair14724270
Limestone13908178
Elmore13812239
Cullman13756228
Lauderdale12909263
Talladega12124200
DeKalb11705220
Walker10047303
Autauga9371119
Blount9272146
Jackson8970132
Coffee8550150
Colbert8229160
Dale8162142
Escambia632298
Tallapoosa6255165
Covington6214153
Chilton6152128
Russell586753
Franklin558292
Chambers5155127
Dallas4569173
Marion4490114
Clarke447070
Pike439188
Geneva415999
Lawrence4002101
Winston399982
Bibb388975
Barbour334667
Marengo317778
Monroe306844
Butler305878
Pickens296166
Henry288550
Randolph288255
Hale282981
Cherokee275649
Fayette268569
Washington241844
Crenshaw226962
Clay219260
Macon211154
Cleburne205746
Lamar184638
Conecuh173337
Lowndes167856
Coosa160031
Wilcox153033
Bullock145642
Perry132430
Sumter122635
Greene117941
Choctaw71925
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