On Monday Donald Trump lashed out at Democrats again after negotiations for border security hit a new roadblock. One reason the talks have stalled is that congressional Democrats now want to limit the number of beds available to hold immigrants who have been arrested by Trump’s border patrol officers.
Trump tweeted this morning:
“The Democrats do not want us to detain, or send back, criminal aliens! This is a brand new demand. Crazy!”
The Democrats do not want us to detain, or send back, criminal aliens! This is a brand new demand. Crazy!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 11, 2019
The Washington Post this morning is reporting that talks among lawmakers negotiating on funding for border security faltered over the weekend as the dispute over Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) ability to hold immigrants in detention centers emerged as the latest sticking point.
In late-stage bid to avert government shutdown, top lawmakers plan to meet today in effort to revive stalled border negotiations https://t.co/uLF4FKV0dE
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) February 11, 2019
According to the Post:
“The nation faces the real possibility of another government shutdown at the end of this week after bipartisan talks aimed at averting that outcome broke down in a dispute over immigration enforcement, lawmakers and aides said.”
GOP Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama chimed in, saying:
“I think the talks are stalled right now. I’m hoping we can get off the dime later today or in the morning because time is ticking away. But we got some problems with the Democrats dealing with ICE, that is detaining criminals that come into the U.S. and they want a cap on them, we don’t want a cap on that.”
The Post reported that Democrats want to put a limit on the number of detention beds for immigrants picked up by ICE away from the border in other parts of the country at 16,500.
Trump is trying to paint the Democratic position as dangerous, saying on Sunday that the party does not “even want to take murderers into custody!”
The current impasse means another partial shutdown is possible. It is also possible that Trump may decide to declare a national emergency to secure wall funding. This would lead to immediate legal challenges, and is not likely to work.
Trump caused a recent 35-day government shutdown with his demand for $5.7 billion for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Democrats offered $1.3 billion in funding for other border security measures, but Speaker Nancy Pelosi has made clear the House will appropriate no money for Trump’s wall.
Trump did finally agree to reopen the government but just until Feb. 15 while a bipartisan group of lawmakers negotiates a deal to fund border security. And now those negotiations have fallen apart, and funding for many key government agencies runs out on Feb. 15.
Donald Trump is continuing to create drama and attack Democrats, but most American voters know there is no real national emergency due to border security and immigrants. Trump is playing a political game that he can’t win, and the losers, as always, will be the American people.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.