The 2018 omnibus budget provides funds to build just 33 miles of new border fence in Texas and denies any funds for President Donald Trump’s preferred border walls.
Pro-immigration Democrats emphasized their funding and symbolic victory over Trump’s populist agenda by directing the business-first GOP leadership to also include a prohibition in the omnibus bill barring the prototype walls which Trump showcased this month:
The amounts designated in subsection (a)(2) through (a)(4) shall only be available for operationally effective designs deployed as of the date of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017, (Public Law 115–31), such as currently deployed steel bollard designs, that prioritize agent safety.
The $641 million allocated for new fences is only 0.05 percent of the $1.3 trillion spending bill, or just 5 cents in a $100 bill.
Even though GOP leaders face a tough election in November, they first negotiated the deal and then blamed the President for the shortfall and the Democrats’ political win, according to a report in the Washington Post. In the meeting with Trump — who has the constitutional power to veto the legislation — the Hill leaders:
all made their pitch to Trump in support of the spending agreement … They argued that he was getting money for the border wall at a level the White House had been signaling was acceptable.
Ryan, other GOP leaders and their allies, including Marc Short, Trump’s congressional outreach chief, have long opposed Trump’s populist agenda, despite its central role in the 2016 campaign. The business-first Republicans fear Trump’s populist agenda will help short the supply of cheap foreign labor to their business allies, and subsequently drive up Americans’ wages.
GOP leaders say the bill includes money for roughly 100 miles of fencing — but that number includes roughly 77 miles of second- fending or fencing upgrades.
The bill also marks a big success for Democrats who have fought tooth-and-nail against Trump’s signature project and his high-wage/low immigration economic strategy.
The Democrats’ win means that Trump will be able to extend the existing variety of walls by only 33 miles during his first two years, leaving him 667 miles short of his 700-mile goal. At that rate of progress, Trump will reach his 700-mile goal after 22 years of bitter argument with the pro-migrant D.C. establishment.
Democrats are trying to hide their glee. “We’re feeling very good about this,” said the Democrats’ Senate leader, Sen. Chuck Schumer. “When it’s unveiled, you will see. We’re not going to get into any more details.”
In a statement, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the Democrats’ House leader, said:
Democrats won explicit language restricting border construction to the same see-through fencing that was already authorized under current law. The bill does not allow any increase in deportation officers or detention beds. We are disappointed that we did not reach agreement on Dreamer protections that were worthy of these patriotic young people.
“The Democrats are spiking the football and doing a happy dance in the end zone,” Virginia GOP Rep. Dave Brat told SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight on March 21. “What did we get?”
The Democrats’ win is especially remarkable because Democrats know their pro-migration agenda is unpopular in the midwestern states where vulnerable Democratic incumbents face the votes in November. After the Democrats voted en-bloc to stop Trump’s popular immigration reforms on February 15, Sen. Dick Durbin told National Public Radio that:
For some [Democratic Senators], it’s easy. For others, it is painful. It’s dangerous politically. As I went up to their desks – and many of them were up for re-election – I said ‘Thank you,’ and several of them said to me, ‘If this cost me my Senate seat, so be it.’ You know, those are moments you’re proud to be a senator.
For 2018, Trump had asked for $1.6 billion to build 74 miles of new walls. But GOP’s business-first leaders, such as House Speaker Paul Ryan, traded Trump’s border agenda to Democrats in exchange for other favors, such as Democratic acceptance of $78 billion in Pentagon spending.
The 2018 omnibus provides only $696 million to build 33 miles of new border fencing — while also ensuring that Schumer will get a similar amount of funding to start building a tunnel in his home state of New York.
In May 2017, Democrats also stopped Trump from getting money for a new border wall in the 2017 omnibus. Trump had asked the GOP majorities in the House and Senate for $1.5 billion, but Democrats ensured he got only $341 million to repair and replace existing border barriers.
The 2018 bill does also provide $25 million to build 14 miles of secondary fencing in San Diego, California, and $445 million to replace existing fencing along the border.
The legislation says:
SEC. 230. (a) Of the amount made available in this Act under ‘‘U.S. Customs and Border Protection—Procurement, Construction, and Improvements’’, $1,571,000,000 shall be available only as follows:
(1) $251,000,000 for approximately 14 miles of secondary fencing, all of which provides for cross barrier visual situational awareness, along the southwest border in the San Diego Sector;
(2) $445,000,000 for 25 miles of primary pedestrian levee fencing along the southwest border in the Rio Grande Valley Sector;
(3) $196,000,000 for primary pedestrian fencing along the southwest border in the Rio Grande Valley Sector;
(4) $445,000,000 for replacement of existing primary pedestrian fencing along the southwest border;
(5) $38,000,000 for border barrier planning and design;
(b) The amounts designated in subsection (a)(2) through (a)(4) shall only be available for operationally effective designs deployed as of the date of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017, (Public Law 115–31), such as currently deployed steel bollard designs, that prioritize agent safety.
The defeat for Trump’s election-winning border reform was welcome by business interests, which favor the northward flow of migrant customers and low-wage workers into the United States.
The Democrats — aided by cooperative business-first GOP leaders — added additional measures to help the inflow of illegal immigrants.
Democrats blocked Trump’s request for new authorities to penalize so-called “sanctuary cities” that protect companies’ use of illegal immigrants, including criminals. “It is absolutely insane what the sanctuary cities are doing,” responded Texas GOP Rep. Louie Gohmert told Fox News.
They basically have said ‘We want the federal money; in fact, we demand the federal money keep flowing, but otherwise, we’re succeeding from the union. We don’t care what they say about the immigration laws. We don’t care what Congress, or the President has said.
The Democrats also helped illegal immigrants by blocking funding to increase the number of detention beds. That is important because once border officers have filled the available detention beds with illegal immigrants, they are forced to let additional migrants go free into U.S. cities.
In general, Democrats support illegal immigration because the cheap labor delivers a major economic subsidy to their cheap-labor business supporters in Democratic-dominated towns. The resulting migrant populations also provide a pool of future Democratic voters and activists — plus a steady supply of new Democratic-leaning citizens.
Democrats also rejected Trump’s offer to extend the DACA amnesty for three years for 690,000 illegals in exchange for $25 billion in border wall funding.
Trump’s immigration priorities are very popular — and carried him to his shocking victory in November.
Business groups and Democrats tout misleading, industry-funded “Nation of Immigrants” polls which pressure Americans to say they welcome migrants, including the roughly 680,000 ‘DACA’ illegals and the roughly 3.25 million ‘dreamer’ illegals.