Daily Dispatch 1/31/19
January 31, 2019
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is saying he is open to anything that will prevent another shutdown, giving his Republican Senators on the conference committee extra leeway to negotiate a deal. Democrats are also signaling a willingness to give a little on border “fencing” where there is evidence such fencing is needed, but are still steadfast against a wall. Instead, they’re offering money for drug scanning technology at ports of entry, improvements to CBP facilities (intended to improve conditions for asylum seekers taken into CBP custody), and HSI investigations of human trafficking. They also seek to increase aid to Central America.
Neither side wants a shutdown. Bills are being introduced that would effectively ban shutdowns. One such bill, introduced by Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), is called the “Stop STUPIDITY (Shutdowns Transferring Unnecessary Pain and Inflicting Damage In The coming Years) Act” (they really could have done a better job with the acronym, srsly).
Trump’s rage tweeting about “WALL” leaves people wondering whether he’ll be willing to sign a compromise bill, fearful of negative coverage from Fox News and outrage from his base. One hope had been that semantics would win the day - with terms like "barrier" and "security" allowing both sides to claim victory - but Trump shot that down in a tweet this morning (see below). Still, the chances of shutdown might be shrinking, as the White House is finalizing the executive order to declare a national emergency in order to pilfer funds from FEMA and other agencies for WALL.
Here’s a sampling of the 13 tweets Trump has sent so far today:
Large sections of WALL have already been built with much more either under construction or ready to go. Renovation of existing WALLS is also a very big part of the plan to finally, after many decades, properly Secure Our Border. The Wall is getting done one way or the other!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 31, 2019
Lets just call them WALLS from now on and stop playing political games! A WALL is a WALL!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 31, 2019
More troops being sent to the Southern Border to stop the attempted Invasion of Illegals, through large Caravans, into our Country. We have stopped the previous Caravans, and we will stop these also. With a Wall it would be soooo much easier and less expensive. Being Built!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 31, 2019
Democrats are becoming the Party of late term abortion, high taxes, Open Borders and Crime!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 31, 2019
- New Jersey Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman has invited Victorina Morales, an undocumented worker recently fired from Trump’s Bedminster golf club, to attend the State of the Union address.
- Bloomberg Government observes that government spending on detention and ICE operations has grown 40% over the past four years, even as Trump asks for more and more and more. Most of this increase is going straight into the pockets of CoreCivic and GEO Group, the private prison companies that ICE contracts to run detention facilities and detainee transportation.
- Cardinal Joseph Tobin, archbishop of Newark, penned an op-ed for the NYT on “The ‘Ethics’ of Trump’s Border Wall,” with the subtitle, “a wall would cause harm to immigrants and refugees, all of whom are equal to us in the eyes of God.”
From NYT: “End Forced Labor in Immigrant Detention”
From NYT: “He Says ‘Wall,’ They Say ‘Border Security’: A Glossary of the Border Debate”
From the AP: “ICE force-feeding detainees on hunger strike”
From CBS News: “ICE told hundreds of immigrants to show up to court Thursday — for many, those hearings are fake”
From Vanity Fair: “Even Trump’s Allies Are Questioning Kushner’s Doomed Immigration Plan”
From USA Today: “Kirstjen Nielsen spars with House Dems on oversight as Trump’s immigration team pushes back”
From HuffPo: “A Texas School District Is Helping Immigrants Facing Deportation. Here’s Why.”