‘Haven’t even granted a fig leaf…they’ve granted nothing more than a pine needle…’
(Ana Michaels, Liberty Headlines) In a bipartisan meeting on DACA and immigration this week, President Donald Trump outraged his base with his response to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)’s question about signing a “clean” DACA bill that would protect undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.
Feinstein offered no concessions in exchange for a “clean bill,” yet Trump quickly said, “Yeah I would like to do it.”
Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR), a hardliner on immigration reform and supporter of a border wall, was asked about President Trump’s concession on Hugh Hewitt’s nationally syndicated radio show.
Cotton acknowledged Trump’s concession, but hammered Democrats for making zero concessions at all:
Hewitt: All right, last question, probability of passage of a bill?
Cotton: Well I certainly want to pass a bill. The president has said all along he wants to as well.
What needs to happen is that the Democrats are going to have to start granting some concessions.
The president has granted them a major concession already—that he is willing to provide legal protections for this DACA population. That is a huge concession for the president and for many of his key supporters.
But Senator Durbin and some of the key Democrats have not yet granted, they haven’t even granted a fig leaf for that, Hugh, they’ve granted nothing more than a pine needle.
Even the concessions they claim to have granted on border security really don’t even really secure the border.
I, for one, like most Senate Republicans, to include much of our leadership, believe that DACA in exchange for mere border security is a bad deal.
Cotton was also asked whether the fence would be left out.
Hewitt: Now in terms of the security element, I’ve been arguing since 2006 in print and before then on the air, we need a long, strong, double-sided fence over hundreds of miles of the southwest border. Not all of it, as the president acknowledged, we’ve got rivers and mountains for which it does not apply. But is that got to be a part of any deal here, Senator Cotton?
Cotton: Yeah, of course it does, as the president said yesterday at his press conference with the Norwegian prime minister.
Look, a wall, a fence, a physical barrier, whatever you call it, it is not the only solution at the border.
At the immigration/DACA meeting itself, alarm bells went off around the table following the President’s remarks to Feinstein.
House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy jumped in.
“Mr. President, you need to be clear, though,” McCarthy said. “I think what Sen. Feinstein is asking here, when we talk about just DACA, we don’t want to be back here two years later. You have to have [border] security [in the bill], as the secretary would tell you.”
Very quickly after the bipartisan immigration meeting ended, the White House walked back the President’s initial approval. The President himself even tweeted, “As I made very clear today, our country needs the security of the Wall on the Southern Border, which must be part of any DACA approval.”
Trump was questioned at a press conference on Wednesday about the wall funding and he indicated again that would veto any bill that doesn’t contain funding for the Wall.
The United States needs the security of the Wall on the Southern Border, which must be part of any DACA approval. The safety and security of our country is #1! pic.twitter.com/4CFzQXb5aS
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 10, 2018
Vice President Mike Pence also made the rounds, telling Fox News Wednesday night that “Make no mistake, there will be no DACA deal without funding for the wall and securing our border.”