President Donald Trump has called for border wall funding as part of a deal on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, but, according to Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas), the president might have to do that without much Democratic support in Congress.
While appearing on “Kasie DC” on Sunday night, Castro told MSNBC host Kasie Hunt that he, along with “most Democrats” in the House of Representatives, would vote against a DACA fix if it includes funding for a border wall.
“I will certainly vote against it and I know most Democrats will vote against it,” Castro said.
Republicans currently maintain a substantial majority in the House, and likely wouldn’t need Democrats’ votes to pass legislation funding a southern border wall. It’s unclear, however, whether they could pass the bill through the Senate where they only narrowly outnumber their Democratic counterparts.
“I can only speak for the House of Representatives, of course,” Castro said. “In the Senate, they have different rules and it’s a different matter. But I would suspect that you will have the overwhelming majority of Democrats vote against it, yes.”
“We don’t want to trade the lives of 800,000 people for a wall across the United States,” he added.
When the administration ended DACA — a program providing legal status for immigrants who came to the United States as undocumented minors — last year, it gave Congress a six month time frame to craft legislation protecting the program’s recipients.
Castro’s comments came just after Trump met with Republican leaders and his Cabinet about immigration:
Leaving Camp David for the White House. Great meetings with the Cabinet and Military on many very important subjects including Border Security & the desperately needed Wall, the ever increasing Drug and Opioid Problem, Infrastructure, Military, Budget, Trade and DACA.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 7, 2018
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) signaled his optimism for an immigration reform deal under Trump, but the president and Congressional Democrats appear divided over what a deal could include.
Both Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) previously criticized the president’s call for border wall funding as part of a deal for giving immigrants legal status.
“The administration can’t be serious about compromise or helping the Dreamers if they begin with a list that is anathema to the Dreamers, to the immigrant community and to the vast majority of Americans,” they said.
Trump, however, said last week that any DACA legislation must provide a border wall. “That’s why our position has been clear, and very clear from the beginning. Any legislation on DACA must secure the border with a wall,” he said.
Watch Castro make those comments below, via MSNBC.