After several days of clashes between the migrant caravan and border patrol, Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) slammed the plan for partial wall funding put forward by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).
President Donald Trump has asked Congress to come up with an immigration deal that would secure the five billion dollars needed to build a wall across the full length of the southern border. Any bill that is not cost-neutral must be approved by 60 senators, meaning this must be a bipartisan effort.
In response to the president’s request, Sen. Schumer suggested funding just $1.6 billion for the wall and he refused to say if he was willing to negotiate on that number.
Sen. Chuck Schumer tells reporters at his on-cam presser that Democrats’ position is $1.6 billion for wall funding – far less than the $5 billion Trump wants – but he won’t say if Democrats are shutting the door on anything more, saying he’s not going to negotiate in public.
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Rubio made it seem like he believes Schumer is willing to negotiate on this deal because he laid out a full explanation as to why the partial wall funding wouldn’t work during his interview with “Fox & Friends” Wednesday morning.
“Having a partial wall is not enough. This is a project that is designed to flow traffic. What you want to do is cut off areas where people want to cross so they can only cross in certain place and you can monitor those places. So if the wall is not built, all 800 miles, if you don’t have the entire system in place, none of it works. It’s not one of those things where you can have half of it. Half of it is as good as none of it and the purpose of the wall is not to keep people out, per se, but to funnel the people that are allowed to come in, to make sure they enter through points of entry that we can monitor for everything from human trafficking to drugs and contraband and vice versa. And so, it’s actually safer for everyone.”
Rubio also explained that he hates to see the images of children being exposed to tear gas, but he also knows that it is a safety concern to allow people to flood into the country without any restrictions.
“Look, I saw the images. No, I don’t want to see images of kids being hit with tear gas and women and people running from that. No one likes those images. What they didn’t take pictures of is the hundreds and hundreds of people that were not women and were not children who were throwing rocks and bottles at law enforcement authorities. By the way, they weren’t just attacking U.S. border security, they were also attacking Mexican authorities on the other side. Now, I’m not saying that’s everybody over there, I’m saying it’s enough people there that warrented the response that you saw to get control of the situation.”
The senator hopes to be able to work across the aisle to secure this wall funding and to reanalyze the support given to Central America to ensure that they can protect their own people to prevent their citizens from feeling like they need leave.
“One of the best things we can do, if possible, and we’re going to have to reexamine what we’re doing about it now, is help countries like Honduras and Guatemala deal with the reasons people are leaving in the first place. That’s the ultimate border security.”
Although Rubio may be fired up about reconsidering a deal on immigration, he is going to have his work cut out for him if he wants to get a bipartisan bill passed.