Will Trump Finally Get His Border Wall?

In a little over a month, Republicans will lose their full control over Congress. And that makes only a few final weeks in which they are able to push their extremist, far-right agenda.

It also likely makes this the last chance for Republican President Donald Trump to maneuver for one of his key campaign promises: a wall between the United States and Mexico. And he’s not letting go without a major fight.

Anyone who doubted President Trump’s dedication to preventing immigrants from entering the U.S. only has to look at the pictures of toddlers crying as they were tear-gassed at a California border crossing over Thanksgiving weekend. Under authority of the U.S. government, border agents responding to what they claimed were rocks and bottles being thrown at them in Tijuana attacked hundreds of asylum seekers – many of them women and children.

The violence at the border may be over for now, but President Trump is using the event to renew his efforts to demand that Congress fund a wall at the Mexican border to the tune of $5 billion — and he’s threatening a partial government shutdown if it doesn’t happen.

The Washington Post reports:

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.) told reporters Monday that the president has made clear that the $5 billion is a red line and he won’t take less. Democrats have rejected that figure and have agreed to $1.6 billion.

It’s unclear how the difference can be bridged, especially with clashes along the U.S.-Mexico border spotlighting what Trump says is the need for greater security and physical barriers. Although the bulk of the federal government has been funded through next fall, money for the Department of Homeland Security and a handful of other agencies runs out at midnight Dec. 7 unless Congress and the president act first.

The government isn’t the only thing President Trump is threatening to shut down if he doesn’t get his own way, either. He continues to argue that in light of the steady march of asylum seekers heading into Mexico and gathering to cross into the U.S., he may “close” the entire border itself.

Bloomberg News reports:

President Donald Trump said the U.S. will close its southern border with Mexico if needed, a day after U.S. agents shot several rounds of tear gas at migrants, some of whom tried to breach a border fence. “Mexico should move the flag waving Migrants, many of whom are stone cold criminals, back to their countries,” Trump said Monday on Twitter. “Do it by plane, do it by bus, do it anyway you want, but they are NOT coming into the U.S.A. We will close the Border permanently if need be.”

Closing the border completely is technically within a president’s power, but it usually is a strategy of last resort in the face of a major threat to national security — not an issue involving a petulant leader angry that his pet projects aren’t getting enough funding.

When President Trump last threatened a border shutdown, critics called the proposal a logistical nightmare and massive waste of resources.

In October, USA Today wrote:

[Frank Mora, a former deputy assistant secretary for the Western Hemisphere at the Department of Defense in the Obama administration] said the idea of deploying active-duty military along the border would not only take away from more important missions, but would be a disproportional response to stop ‘women, children and young men’ from attempting to carry out the legal practice of applying for asylum.

That apparently wasn’t a problem for the administration, however, who deployed thousands of troops to the border weeks later. Now they are all in position if the President chooses to go through with his threat.

If President Trump doesn’t get the $5 billion he demands prior to December 7, it’s highly unlikely that he will ever get a chance to nab that funding again. A new Congress with a Democratic majority will come in this January, and after that his first term will end.

The likelihood of Trump winning a second term — much less finishing his first one — is tenuous at best. No wonder he’s approaching this as if it were a final hardball negotiation for one of his properties.

But this isn’t a business deal. The lives of tens of thousands of vulnerable immigrants are at stake. And the president is putting them all at risk just in order to get one more “win.”

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

52 comments

Rhoberta E
Rhoberta E11 days ago

brian f
I KNOW the origins of the ACA. !!!Quit thinking YOU know it all and what will / should happen.
Even WITH a Democrat House and Ms . Pelosi as speaker, health care at least will probably will be brought to the floor for a vote..
PRESIDENT OBAMA DID TRY !!! and he was / is the only POTUS to get even that much voted into law

SEND
Brian F
Brian F11 days ago

Rhoberta E The ACA is a Republican healthcare plan. It is not good enough for most Americans. We need Medicare for all as proposed by John Conyers and reintroduced by Bernie Sanders. Obama had a Democratic majority his first year and a half in office and could have given us Medicare for all. Even if he lacked the votes, he could have tried. This issue is not going away. If Bernie Sanders is cheated again out of his primary by the corrupt Democrats, the corrupt corporate establishment Democrat that the Democrats try to force us to accept better support Medicare for all or they will be criticized heavily. Most people in the USA support Medicare for all, and we desperately need it, so this is not a meaningless issue that we can just sweep under the rug.

SEND
Rhoberta E
Rhoberta E11 days ago

brian f
As YOU voted FOR the Democrats and UNDER the Democrats and Ms. Pelosi and President Obama the ACA was passed into law, I guess YOUR estimated deaths would be in the billions if not for those who WERE able to get even baseline health care. An individual mandate WAS proposed originally but the greedy GOP whittled that away.
You just come across as SO petty and continue to blame those who actually tried to introduce health care for all. NOW the republicans must be worried even though they have all but dismantled any form of the ACA.
Now, I must apologize for THIS off topic comment thanks to brian f.
A multi billion dollar wall will NOT stop the problem and chances are more people will die from trump's obsession with it . Seems like migrant asylum seekers are expendable.

SEND
Dan Blossfeld
Dan Blossfeld11 days ago

I really hope we do not waste funds building this craziness.

SEND
Darlene Buckingham

Building walls have never solved anything. We need people that know this. We need a new political system that supports life and what is right rather than corporations whose only concern is profits. If we all join together and stop accepting this from politicans things will change but the public also has to start doing the right thing within their own lives and not say that war and destroying the Planet is OK. Imagine if we all worked together what we could create to turn this all around.!

SEND
Joan E
Joan E11 days ago

Don't finish the wall. Finish the Trump Regime.

SEND
Brian F
Brian F12 days ago

Rhoberta E Well the facts speak for themselves. Millions die each year in our country because we don't have Medicare for all, and Nancy Pelosi refuses to support it, so she has to take some responsibility for those deaths. Any politician who refuses to support Medicare for all, should be terminated.

SEND
Rhoberta E
Rhoberta E12 days ago

brian f
You are truly saying that it is Ms. Pelosi's fault that ,as you state, "millions die each year" ?
Your priority seems to be getting your marijuana but the fact you actually state that about her is one of the biggest propaganda piles of crap you post here . (and you post a ton of it daily)
Get your facts straight or stop being just a disgruntled BOT

SEND
Julie D
Julie D12 days ago

Hopefully the damn wall will never be built. It is a stupid useless waste of money.

SEND
Brian F
Brian F12 days ago

Mike K Well most progessives like Cornell West, Noam Chomsky, Jimmy Dore, Kyle Kylinski, Abby Martin, Cenk Uygur, and many others disagree with you that Nancy Pelosi has done a good job. Millions die each year because we are the only country that has this horrible profit dictated Republican healthcare plan, instead of Medicare for all, which most people support, and we desperately need. The fact that you would defend Pelosi who is worth 100 million dollars, and refuses to support Medicare for all, really demonstrates how out of touch you are. Nancy Pelosi also supports Natural gas fracking. We need a Speaker who doesn't take millions from Wall Street and corporations like Nancy Pelosi does, and who supports Medicare for all, which most people support, and we desperately need in this country. This crook Trump supports Nancy Pelosi because he knows she will not fight for progressive policies, like Medicare for all that we desperately need, and make it easier for Trump to push his nefarious agenda and drstroy the country.

SEND