Tags: Donald Trump | Homeland Security | Mexico | Money | National Debt | Trump Administration | border wall

The Hill: Border Wall Confusion Holds Up Govt Shutdown Talks

The Hill: Border Wall Confusion Holds Up Govt Shutdown Talks
Border wall prototypes (Elliott Spagat/AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 03 January 2018 10:20 PM

President Donald Trump has not given Senate negotiators specifics behind his demand for a border wall — and it is holding up talks to avoid a government shutdown, The Hill reported.

The president is demanding tougher immigration controls and more border-security measures in return for relief for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program recipients in the 2018 spending bill.

But there is a question if Trump will insist on building a 2,200-mile wall along the U.S.-Mexico border — or whether he will settle for increased patrols and surveillance, The Hill reported.

"That's something we're waiting on the White House to give us clarity on," Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., one of the Senate negotiators, told The Hill.

"When you talk to [the Department of Homeland Security] and the other individuals, they talk about technology, they talk about personnel, they talk about physical barriers.

"The president has just said, 'I call it wall.' Everything is 'wall.' But I don't think he really means 30-foot high wall for 2,000 miles," Lankford added.

Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee plan to meet with Trump on Thursday to get a better sense of what border security needs must be met as part of an immigration deal, The Hill reported.

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., one of the Senate Democrats working on a prospective immigration deal, told The Hill the reason Trump has not wanted to put his proposal for a border wall on paper is because it would appear unfeasible and draw opposition from fellow Republicans.

"It has been almost three months since we asked the administration to provide us with a specific border security proposal. Still, I haven't seen it," Durbin told The Hill.

"What do you think 'the wall' means? Nobody knows. When they're forced to put it on paper they have a problem. It's too expensive, and it's controversial, and there are parts of it that Republicans don't like so they're afraid to write it down. But they're holding us up."

Government funding runs out Jan. 19 and Congress has until March 5 to come up with a solution to protect Dreamers from deportation.

Senate Republican Conference chairman Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., said Wednesday he does not think the spending package will include the immigration legislation, The Hill reported.

But Democrats disagree, The Hill reported.

"The four leaders and White House officials agreed to keep negotiating a bipartisan budget agreement to lift the defense and non-defense caps, a DACA and border agreement, a healthcare package, as well as a disaster aid bill," an unnamed Democratic leadership aide told The Hill.

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President Donald Trump is holding up talks to avoid a government shutdown, according to The Hill, because he has not given Senate negotiators specifics behind his demand for a border wall.
border wall, budget, government shutdown, congress, spending
Wednesday, 03 January 2018 10:20 PM
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