The Democrats might be stonewalling President Donald Trump’s would-be hostage attempt for $5.7 billion in border wall funding, but when it comes to the border, they’re all over the place.
Speaking at his inaugural press briefing as the new House Democratic Caucus chair on Wednesday, New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries reminded supporters that even though Democrats don’t want The Wall, they do support Some Wall, illustrating just how doomed we’ll likely still be whenever this government shutdown showdown ends.
“The House Democratic Caucus is unanimous in supporting the notion that there are certain areas along the border where current barriers exist, where the experts have said we can reinforce those barriers in a way that is consistent with border security,” Jeffries told reporters, according to the Hill.
Jeffies also said Democrats are ready to “substantially” increase funding for border security measures like “reinforcing...fencing and barriers that currently are in existence.” He still stands with Democratic leaders like Nancy Pelosi against Trump’s plan for a massive new wall, but because it’s a waste of money, not necessarily because it’s an awful idea on its face.
“We are not willing to waste taxpayer dollars on a medieval border wall that is a 5th century solution to a 21st century problem,” Jeffries continued.
Jeffries did, however, support Pelosi’s diagnosis of The Wall (though not Some Wall) as “an immorality,” again emphasizing the distinction between the Wall that Trump wants (immoral) and Some Wall With Lots of Armed Guards that Democrats want (also immoral but, per Jeffries, not).
“When Speaker Pelosi talks about the immortality of the issue, she’s talking about the entire dynamic as it relates to the xenophobic approach that some in this administration have taken to demonize immigrants, including legal immigrants and those seeking asylum for legitimate reasons,” he said. “And what the Trump administration is saying is that we’re going to keep those folks out as well.”
Everything he’s saying about the Trump administration’s motivations is correct—borders are a political and moral issue. But placating Trump with half-measures like hiring more border patrol agents or strengthening the wall that’s already only shows a willingness to indulge immigration hard-liners’ games.