(CNSNews.com) – There’s still no deal in sight to end the government funding lapse and give President Trump money for a border wall, but Trump tweeted on Sunday that ongoing talks with Democrats have been “productive.”
“V.P. Mike Pence and group had a productive meeting with the Schumer/Pelosi representatives today. Many details of Border Security were discussed. We are now planning a Steel Barrier rather than concrete. It is both stronger & less obtrusive. Good solution, and made in the U.S.A.”
When he returned to the White House from Camp David on Sunday, Trump told reporters, “We’ve been in touch with a lot of people, and I informed my folks to say that we’ll build a steel barrier, steel — that it will be made out of steel, that it will be less obtrusive and stronger.”
But earlier on Sunday, a number of Democrats went on the Sunday shows to repeat their party’s talking points: No money for a wall; and reopen government while negotiations continue.
There’s a new talking point as well: Several Democrats, including Sen. Dick Durbin, said visa overstays are more of a problem than border crashers: “If we’re talking about border security, the overwhelming number of undocumented people in the United States overstayed visas. They did not cross the border,” Durbin told CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
“The solution to that is not a concrete wall. It’s a computer program that needs to track these people who received the visas.”
Durbin added that a wall will not prevent foreigners from coming to legal ports of entry to make claims for asylum or refugee status.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told “Face the Nation” that it’s clear to him that any deal must include a wall. “The president will compromise but he will not capitulate. So that’s where we’re at.”
“Nancy Pelosi sees the border crisis as manufactured. President Trump sees it as real. Until we see the same movie, you’re never going to reach a conclusion,” Graham said.
“The president is right to dig in to get money for a wall as part of border security. It will not be a concrete wall. It will be steel barriers. And every plan I’ve supported in the past with Dick Durbin has had money for physical barriers, including walls and fences, except now when Trump is president.”
Graham said the recent caravans “changed everything,” and he said that’s why Trump is right to demand nothing less than $5 billion for a border barrier.
Graham, who regularly speaks with the president, also offered his opinion of what a deal might look like:
Here is what I think the deal would look like. Give him the money we need to secure our border and $5 billion, $5.6 billion, could be well spent. And I think we can put on the table, TPS (Temporary Protected Status) reform. There’s 400,000 people going to lose their legal status soon who have been here for decades. I’d like to deal with that problem.”
Graham also want to put DACA recipients on a path to citizenship.
Graham said part of the problem right now is finding someone on the other side “that is not crazy to deal with.”
We’re not going to put any offers on the table as long as people in charge of these negotiations accuse all of us who want a wall of being a racist and see our Border Patrol agents as gassing children. Until you get that crowd put to the sidelines, I don’t see anything happening.
When you see Dick Durbin and others in the room, not a bunch of staffers, when you see this rhetoric that those who want to build the wall are racists stop, when you see the idea one dollar is enough for the wall, when that stuff ends, the real negotiations begin.
Right now the people running the show on the Left are radical, liberal Democrats, who don’t see a border security problem. They see their own government being the problem, not the illegal immigrant. Until that changes we’ll never get anywhere.
There’s a deal to be had here but it will include a wall and if there’s no wall in this deal, we’ll never have a deal.
Graham said he does want to reopen the part of government that has run out of funding, “but the goal is not to open up the government,” he said. “The goal is to fix a broken immigration system, to bring reality to this table, that ICE is not the problem, it’s the solution.
“The goal is to repair a damaged, broken immigration system. It’s to implement policies Democrats have voted for in the past on President Trump’s watch.
“We’re not going to give in to this radical left ever until we can find a rational way forward where we’ll have a wall as part of a border security plan. We’re going nowhere. Wall plus DACA plus TPS makes sense.”
But speaking to reporters when he returned from Camp David on Sunday, President Trump said he would rather wait for the Supreme Court to rule on DACA first — and then work with Democrats to find a solution for people brought to the U.S. illegally as children.