Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., said Tuesday that President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall is a “racist symbol,” though he did say that additional barriers are needed on the Southwest border.
“I am comfortable with barriers that involve vehicles, fences. There are appropriate places where border guards have convinced me that some additional barriers could be useful,” Merkley told CNN’s “New Day” Tuesday morning.
“But what I hear, when you separate the border guards from their superiors, what they say is, ‘Look, what we need are sensors to determine if somebody is approaching the border and we need more personnel to be able to respond quickly to intercept them,’ — that those are the key two things,” he continued.
“There’s nothing magical about a 30-foot wall and, in fact, that has become now a symbol really — a symbol of this administration’s policies — and it’s a racist symbol.”
Merkley was then asked about his comment about barriers on the border, and whether he did support additional walls or fencing.
“You did say that you do think that some new wall or new barrier in some places would be okay and you’d be willing to vote for new funding for that?” asked co-host John Berman.
“Nothing that I would call a wall am I willing to vote for,” Merkley said. “I’ve seen some of the border fences. They’re chain link. You can see through them. They slow people down in combination with sensors.
"People can respond. But anything that is like this vast kind of massive wall that extends 30 feet into the air, whether it’s steel slats, whether it’s concrete, no, absolutely not.”
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