On Tuesday, the president took a trip to southern California, where he surveyed eight different prototypes for a border wall meant to go up in between the U.S. and Mexico. He has long pushed for such a structure, but hardly without opposition, and he’s failed to secure the funding he’s requested for it.
Although Republicans have a simple majority in both houses of Congress, there are enough Democrats in the Senate to ensure that the GOP can’t push through plans to fund the wall without running into a roadblock.
At one point during the budget showdown earlier this year that culminated in the government shutting down not just once, but twice, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer was reported to have offered to support funding for the wall if the president would go along with instituting protections for undocumented immigrants brought here as children. The president didn’t bite, and Senators eventually managed to strike a deal to re-open the government, removing the urgency behind Schumer’s actions and giving him the opportunity to withdraw his offer.
That doesn’t mean, however, that the president has proven to be deterred in his efforts to see a wall go up.
After his visit to the wall prototypes in California this Tuesday, he took to Twitter with a statement about the issue, writing:
‘If we don’t have a wall system, we’re not going to have a country. Congress must fund the BORDER WALL & prohibit grants to sanctuary jurisdictions that threaten the security of our country & the people of our country. We must enforce our laws & protect our people!’
Along with the statement was a short video montage chronicling the president’s visit.
Check it out below.
If we don’t have a wall system, we’re not going to have a country. Congress must fund the BORDER WALL & prohibit grants to sanctuary jurisdictions that threaten the security of our country & the people of our country. We must enforce our laws & protect our people! #BuildTheWall pic.twitter.com/NGqNueukvj
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 13, 2018
While in California, the president railed against the jurisdictions that have become known as “sanctuary cities,” where local authorities bar local police officers from turning into federal immigration law enforcement personnel. Jurisdictions fitting that description pepper California; one — Oakland — was involved in a high profile recent incident involving federal immigration law enforcement.
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf got word of an impending Immigration and Customs Enforcement operation in her city and chose to warn her constituents. In the aftermath of that warning and the subsequent operation, federal officials including U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions claimed that Schaaf’s warning had allowed as many as 800 criminal undocumented immigrants to escape authorities.
That number was disputed by the now former regional spokesperson for ICE covering the area, James Schwab, who resigned in the face of the “misleading facts” that he says are being pushed.
Even though its outrage is questionable considering Schwab’s testimony, the Trump administration has filed a lawsuit against the state of California over its refusal to turn its police officers into extensions of ICE. As Reuters describes it:
‘California Democratic Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law last October that prevents police from inquiring about immigration status and curtails law enforcement cooperation with immigration officers.’
Considering the Trump administration’s past lack of success when it comes to issues related to the border wall, it’s hardly a given that they’re going to come out on top here. The president claimed Mexico was going to pay for the wall, and we all know how that turned out.
Check out Twitter’s response below.
Featured Image via Samuel Corum/ Anadolu Agency/Getty Images