The devil is in the details.
So far, we’ve only heard bits and pieces of the “deal” reached in principle between Republicans and Democrats negotiating to avert another government shutdown and address border security with a wall. What we’ve heard can be construed as positive, but there are still big questions that must be answered.
First, I’m not crazy about the use of the word “barrier” when describing the money that may be included in the deal to cover a small portion of the land where there’s currently nothing separating Mexico from the United States. It could be a wording victory for Democrats who want to claim they didn’t give in on President Trump’s demand for budgeting the wall, but it’s hard to imagine Republicans agreeing if we’re going to get the “Normandy-style” barriers Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi mentioned last week. These types of barriers, pictured above, are designed to prevent vehicles from crossing. They do nothing to prevent people from crossing on foot, which is standard operating procedure for groups of illegal immigrants.
Second, there are discussions over capping the number of beds available for ICE to use in detaining illegal immigrants. This is ludicrous on its face; why would you place a cap on the amount of people detained? What if there are more people to detain than there’s room to hold them? Who gets set free? Why would they be set free? What purpose could this possibly serve?
Democrats say it’s to prevent ICE from overreaching. Once again, this is ludicrous. ICE is barely able to do its job as it stands. Why force them into more arbitrary restrictions that have nothing to do with keeping Americans safer?
The deal, for now, looks like it has potential to be acceptable to Republicans, but many conservatives aren’t happy:
#BuildtheWall: Radical Dimms refuse to protect America, their "Deal" is an insult to @POTUS and the American people. Lawmakers reach 'agreement in principle' in border security talks, with $1.3B for barrier https://t.co/QfPnU917WH #FoxNews #MAGA #AmericaFirst #Dobbs
— Lou Dobbs (@LouDobbs) February 12, 2019
We’ll be watching very closely from now until the Friday night deadline. If this truly gets border wall construction started, that’s a step forward. Unfortunately, it’s only 55 miles, which means that step forward is tiny compared to the real problem.