Not too many years ago, Democrats in the Senate and House excoriated Republicans for initiating a government shutdown over federal spending. Now, one Democrat is threatening to do the same over President Trump’s proposed border wall with Mexico.
U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) recently called President Trump’s $18 billion border wall plan “ridiculous” and “outrageous.” Durbin further hinted that Democrats in Congress would stonewall the plan.
These are no idle threats. Durbin is the second most powerful Democrat in the Senate.
In response to Durbin’s comments, U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) tweeted on Friday, “The only thing that’s not serious is the Gang of Amnesty’s ridiculous proposal: amnesty in the millions, no end to chain migration, use diversity-lottery green cards for TPS aliens (T = temporary!), & pittance for phony border security. Get real!”
Cotton is a noted immigration hawk and is clearly upset with the continuance of the diversity lottery program (which is still under fire for letting in Uzbek terrorist Sayfullo Saipov) and the plans of immigration moderates in the GOP and liberal Democrats to put some form of amnesty into the legislation for President Trump’s border wall.
This anger is not shared by Senator Durbin, who backs amnesty and believes that $18 billion is too much for border wall construction.
So far, the Trump administration has proposed that its “border wall system” will include 864 miles of wall and a secondary barrier.
The Trump administration also supports adding more border enforcement agents and building holding and detention centers near the wall. These centers would hold families and unattended minors caught by Border Patrol.
While Trump has said Mexico will ultimately pay for the wall, those costs will be recovered through taxes and tariffs, not via a physical check being handed over by the Mexican government.
Trump’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has also proposed that they will raise fees on border crossings and visas in order to deter illegal immigration and human smuggling.
Higher fees may also act as a sort of tax that could recoup some of the heavy spending incurred by border construction.
As with all major spending proposals, President Trump’s border wall would have to be funded by Congress. Democrats have repeatedly said that they will never agree to border wall funding unless some sort of DACA amnesty is passed as well.
If Democrats take control of the Senate in 2018, then President Trump’s border wall would be in serious jeopardy.
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