President Donald Trump, speaking to Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade in an exclusive interview, vowed border-related bills weaving through Congress that don’t include provisions to fund and build a “real wall” won’t meet with his approval, and ultimately, won’t pass his White House desk.
Take a memo, Democrats and soft-on-border-control Republicans.
In September 2017, The Hill ran a piece with this headline: “Americans support a border wall more than the media wants to believe.”
And in April, Reuters ran a story with this headline: “Majority of Americans support National Guard on border.”
Americans, by and large, want strong border protections.
And Trump, who has long promised to provide just that, is doubling down, laying out the standards for what types of border bills he’ll approve, and what types he won’t.
Trump’s own words to Kilmead: Of the four different bills now being mulled, none will receive his signature “unless it includes a wall and I mean a wall, a real wall, and unless it includes strong security.”
“It’s time to get the whole package,” he said.
The comments came at an emotionally charged MS-13 gang forum in New York, where Trump, along with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and other law enforcement and political notables, heard from family members of victims of MS-13 violence.
Part of Trump’s plan to combat the violence involves cuts in aids to countries that don’t actively help America apprehend MS-13 gang members. Part, too, involves tougher security at the border, including the final construction of the long-promised wall.
“We’re going to get the rest [of the wall]. I think there’s a lot of pressure on the Democrats, frankly,” Trump said. “The lottery’s ridiculous … these countries are not putting their finest in these lotteries … chain migration is terrible.
He added: “We have the worst immigration laws in the world by far and it’s because of the Democrats. … Other countries laugh at us.”
Meanwhile, back at the Democratic Party camp — leaders are still fighting off the perception they support MS-13 “animals,” as Trump termed them, more than law-abiding and innocent American citizens.
Not a good look for the left. But Democrats now have a chance to fight off that Party of MS-13 image. All they have to do is give the thumbs-up to some tougher border controls that include ample funding for the building of the wall — the same wall that’s been on the books as legislatively approved for years, by the way.
Any other way — any softer approach — and Trump’s vowed not to approve.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley.
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