Congressional leaders are punting tough spending decisions for two weeks, leaving President Trump and Republican majorities in the lame duck Congress very little time to act on funding a border wall and other security measures.
The funding debate is being postponed so lawmakers don’t descend into a partisan brawl just hours after honoring the late President George Bush, but with Democrats poised to control the House of Representatives and everyone wanting to be home for Christmas, time is quickly dwindling.
The issue is also taking on additional intensity due to the debate over how to deal with the Latin American migrants in Tijuana who are asking for asylum in the U.S. Trump is demanding $5 billion in spending for the wall. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer is offering $1.6 billion in general border security spending.
Center for Immigration Studies Director of Policy Studies Jessica Vaughan says President Trump has to put his foot down now.
“The president needs to fight very, very hard for this. He needs to go to the mat for this and send the signal that he’s going to veto any spending bill that doesn’t give him the resources to solve this problem,” said Vaughan.
She warns Republicans that there’s not telling when they’ll have the opportunity to do this again.
“If Republicans don’t get their act together and come together on something in the next couple of weeks, in January the Democrats take over the House and they will be able to get nothing through that enhances border security or increases immigration enforcement,” said Vaughan.
Vaughan says the caravan debate adds tremendous urgency and she applauds the Trump administration for it’s approach to processing the asylum seekers.
“If you cross illegally into the United States, you’re not going to be able to ask for asylum and they’re controlling the number of people who are allowed to come to the legal port of entry,” said Vaughan.
She says efforts to keep the migrants in Mexico while their claims are being processed because many times individuals and families fail to come back for decisions on asylum petitions once they’re allowed in the U.S.
Listen to the full podcast as Vaughan explains other changes the Trump administration is making to border security policy and why she believes those changes are necessary until immigration law is properly clarified or changed.