wants to cut funding for other border security measures ― including ones that have been proven to work, such as surveillance and radar technology ― in order to fund an $18 billion border wall.’ data-reactid=”29″>Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who did not attend Tuesday’s meeting, criticized Trump earlier that day over a report that the administration wants to cut funding for other border security measures ― including ones that have been proven to work, such as surveillance and radar technology ― in order to fund an $18 billion border wall.
Schumer said Democrats were open to border measures that would help, and even fencing where it was deemed necessary. But he said it was wrong “to take away the things that are needed to protect the border for a symbolic and ineffective political gesture.”
“There’s nothing to this but politics,” Schumer said. “President Trump is fighting for an empty symbol rather than smart policy that will actually produce better security at our borders.”
After lawmakers reach a deal to help Dreamers, Democrats would be eager to work on comprehensive immigration reform, Menendez said.
But it’s early in the process to assume knowledge of what Trump would agree to. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who attended the meeting and supports cutting legal immigration in half, told reporters afterward that he still opposes a “comprehensive” approach and believes Trump agrees that immigration matters should be handled in a step-by-step process.
“President Trump has always said that he wants to solve all of the issues of our immigration system, but he also said he knows that Congress has failed three times in 12 years to do that, so it’s better to do a phased approach,” Cotton said. He added later: “But if we get this negotiation right, if we get a solution that is satisfactory to Democrats and Republicans, that will help give confidence for the next round of immigration.”