Despite the intransigence of House Democrats led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, an increasing number of Democratic Party voices are supporting President Donald Trump’s call for a stronger barrier across America’s Southern Border.
Joe Manchin, a centrist Democratic senator from West Virginia, said that Democrats realize the need for border security.
“On the Senate side, we understand. I don’t think any senators … said they don’t want any secured structure fence or wall or whatever you want to call it,” he said, saying that House Democrats are the stumbling block.
Virginia Democratic Sen. Mark Warner also noted that there is a hole to plug.
“I know we’re going to have to add additional border security. … We’ve got about 700 miles of existing fencing. Where folks say we need additional barrier protections, I’m all for it,” Warner said last week.
Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana recently issued a release on border security, noting that Democratic senators including Chris Coons and Tom Carper of Delaware as well as Ben Cardin of Maryland have made comments supporting border barriers.
Sen. Angus King of Maine, an independent, has also spoken out for barriers, the release said.
Some House Democrats want a barrier as well. A group led by freshman Democratic Congresswoman Elaine Luria last week called for a quick vote on building the barrier, according to Politico.
Under a deal she proposed, “the Democratic Majority will immediately begin debate in committee on the supplemental discretionary funding request by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for border security. This will allow DHS leadership to explain in detail how the funds will be used and whether this expenditure will have the reported results presented by the President,” according to a letter sent to Pelosi.
Fellow freshman Anthony Brindisi, a New York Democrat, also called for stronger border security, according to WBNG. He said American investment shouldn’t be limited to a physical barrier.
“Investments in technology at the border, you have to have more border agents and if we can throw in there some other immigration reforms that have been hampering us for the last couple years we should try and get that done too,” he said.
Democratic support for a border barrier is nothing new, The Washington Post reported.
Supports of border barriers include former President Barack Obama, who in a 2006 vote while still a senator from Illinois called border fencing “better security along our borders.”
The Post noted that California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein once called for a fence along the entire border with Mexico.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, while still a senator, was proud of a vote “for 700 miles of fence.”
“People are driving across that border with tons, tons — hear me — tons of everything from byproducts for methamphetamine to cocaine to heroin. And it’s all coming up through corrupt Mexico,” Biden said at the time.
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