Tentative border deal gives Trump far less for wall

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (February 12, 2019) — Congressional negotiators reached agreement to prevent a government shutdown and finance construction of new barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border, overcoming a late-stage hang-up over immigration enforcement issues that had threatened to scuttle the talks.

Bauer: Open border part of left's 'transformation' of America

Chad Groening (OneNewsNow.com)

Gary Bauer of the Campaign for Working Families is skeptical that the president can convince Democrats to fully fund his border wall. "I remain very skeptical that it will get him the funds that he needs," he tells OneNewsNow.

Bauer, Gary (American Values)Bauer points out the Democrats have never been in favor of border security, but have tried to deceive the American people for many years. "They knew that if Americans 25 years ago knew that they were really for open borders, the American people would vote them out of office," he offers.

But Bauer says now after 30 years of open borders, America has changed.

"... [M]ore and more people in the country ... want big government [and] want socialism – and the research shows that they tend to vote Democrat," he explains. "And so now I think the left believes they're almost finished transforming America."

Bauer argues that the Democrats will do anything to effectively secure the border because they don't want the border secured – and they want to take it even further, he states:

"... If you want to erase the border, you thwart every possible step the president is taking to secure the border so that the free flow of illegal immigrants continues. That's why the left-wing governors of California and New Mexico have withdrawn their National Guard troops from the border."

White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said during news show appearances Sunday that while another shutdown remained on the table, Trump probably would be willing to compromise over how much of the $5.7 billion for wall construction he's demanded would be allocated.

Republicans were desperate to avoid another bruising shutdown. They tentatively agreed Monday night to far less money for President Donald Trump's border wall than the White House's $5.7 billion wish list, settling for a figure of nearly $1.4 billion, according to congressional aides. The funding measure is through the fiscal year, which ends on Sept. 30.

It's not clear whether Trump will support the deal, although GOP negotiators said they were hopeful.

The agreement means 55 miles (88 kilometers) of new fencing — constructed through existing designs such as metal slats instead of a concrete wall — but far less than the 215 miles (345 kilometers) the White House demanded in December. The fencing would be built in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas.

"With the government being shut down, the specter of another shutdown this close, what brought us back together I thought tonight was we didn't want that to happen" again, said Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala.

Details won't be officially released until Tuesday, but the pact came in time to alleviate any threat of a second partial government shutdown this weekend. Aides revealed the details under condition of anonymity because the agreement is tentative.

"Our staffs are just working out the details," said House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey, D-N.Y.

The pact also includes increases for new technologies such as advanced screening at border entry points, humanitarian aid sought by Democrats, and additional customs officers.

This weekend, Shelby pulled the plug on the talks over Democratic demands to limit immigrant detentions by federal authorities, frustrating some of his fellow negotiators, but Democrats yielded ground on that issue in a fresh round of talks on Monday.

Asked if Trump would back the deal, Shelby said: "We believe from our dealings with them and the latitude they've given us, they will support it. We certainly hope so."

But Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity, a Trump ally, said the barrier money in the agreement was inadequate. He warned late Monday that "any Republican that supports this garbage compromise, you will have to explain."

Trump traveled to El Paso, Texas, for a campaign-style rally Monday night focused on immigration and border issues. He has been adamant that Congress approve money for a wall along the Mexican border, though he no longer repeats his 2016 mantra that Mexico will pay for it, and he took to the stage as lawmakers back in Washington were announcing their breakthrough.

"They said that progress is being made with this committee," Trump told his audience, referring to the congressional bargainers. "Just so you know, we're building the wall anyway."

Democrats carried more leverage into the talks after besting Trump on the 35-day shutdown but showed flexibility in hopes on winning Trump's signature. After yielding on border barriers, Democrats focused on reducing funding for detention beds to curb what they see as unnecessarily harsh enforcement by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE.

The agreement yielded curbed funding, overall, for ICE detention beds, which Democrats promised would mean the agency would hold fewer detainees than the roughly 49,000 detainees held on Feb. 10, the most recent date for which figures were available. Democrats claimed the number of beds would be ratcheted down to 40,520.

But a proposal to cap at 16,500 the number of detainees caught in areas away from the border — a limit Democrats say was aimed at preventing overreach by the agency — ran into its own Republican wall.

Democrats dropped the demand in the Monday round of talks, and the mood in the Capitol improved markedly.

Trump met Monday afternoon with top advisers in the Oval Office to discuss the negotiations. He softened his rhetoric on the wall but ratcheted it up when alluding to the detention beds issue.

"We can call it anything. We'll call it barriers, we'll call it whatever they want," Trump said. "But now it turns out not only don't they want to give us money for a wall, they don't want to give us the space to detain murderers, criminals, drug dealers, human smugglers."

The recent shutdown left more than 800,000 government workers without paychecks, forced postponement of the State of the Union address and sent Trump's poll numbers tumbling. As support in his own party began to splinter, Trump surrendered after the shutdown hit 35 days, agreeing to the current temporary reopening without getting money for the wall.

The president's supporters have suggested that Trump could use executive powers to divert money from the federal budget for wall construction, though he could face challenges in Congress or the courts.

The negotiations hit a rough patch Sunday amid a dispute over curbing ICE, the federal agency that Republicans see as an emblem of tough immigration policies and Democrats accuse of often going too far.

According to ICE figures, 66 percent of the nearly 159,000 immigrants it reported detaining last year were previously convicted of crimes. Reflecting the two administration's differing priorities, in 2016 under President Barack Obama, around 110,000 immigrants were detained and 86 percent had criminal records.

Few convictions that immigrants detained last year had on their records were for violent crimes. The most common were for driving while intoxicated, drugs, previous immigration convictions and traffic offenses.

The border debate got most of the attention, but it's just part of a major spending measure to fund a bevy of Cabinet departments. A collapse of the negotiations would have imperiled another upcoming round of budget talks that are required to prevent steep spending cuts to the Pentagon and domestic agencies.

Consider Supporting Us?

The staff at Onenewsnow.com strives daily to bring you news from a biblical perspective. If you benefit from this platform and want others to know about it please consider a generous gift today.

MAKE A DONATION

Comments

We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article - NOT another reader's comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details

SIGN UP FOR OUR DAILY NEWSBRIEF

SUBSCRIBE

VOTE IN OUR POLL

What is your opinion over President Trump declaring a 'national emergency' on U.S.-Mexico border?

CAST YOUR VOTE

GET PUSH NOTIFICATIONS

SUBSCRIBE

LATEST AP HEADLINES

Trump says he has 'absolute right' to declare emergency
Feds share watchlist with 1,400 private groups
Mexico closes temporary migrant shelter near US border
Judge OKs suit aimed at halting Obama library in Chicago
Pressure builds to get civilians out of last IS-held enclave
Bernie Sanders says he's running for president in 2020
Trump criticizes California over lawsuit against border wall
New questions raised in Smollett attack claims

LATEST FROM THE WEB

McCabe reveals the 'one thing' that stood out from his fateful call with Flynn
House Dems blame GOP for 'gutted' tax refunds
Report: Trump administration launches global initiative to end criminalization of homosexuality
The 2 things that hold back blacks
Get woke, get fired

CARTOON OF THE DAY

Cartoon of the Day
NEXT STORY
Feds share watchlist with 1,400 private groups

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (February 19, 2019) — The federal government has acknowledged that it shares its terrorist watchlist with more than 1,400 private entities, including hospitals and universities, prompting concerns from civil libertarians that those mistakenly placed on the list could face a wide variety of hassles in their daily lives.