However, Trump also predicts there will be no government shutdown and insists he will build a proper wall. He stated:
Am I happy at first glance? The answer is no, I’m not, I’m not happy. It’s not going to do the trick, but I’m adding things to it and when you add whatever I have to add, it’s all going to happen where we’re going to build a beautiful big strong wall.
It looks, then, like Trump will agree to the deal and try to fund adequate walling by declaring a national emergency or by diverting funds to wall construction without such a declaration.
Remember, though, that Trump was giving his “first glance” reaction. He hasn’t really foreclosed any of his options.
It’s disappointing that Trump didn’t get more wall funding and other funding that would help America secure its borders and combat illegal immigration. It’s also worth noting, however, that the Democrats have gotten nothing in the way of relief for “dreamers” or the DACA population.
If one didn’t understand contemporary American politics, these outcomes would seem odd. Democrats have supported building a wall in the past, and President Trump has nothing against some relief for the DACA population, or even the broader group of “dreamers.”
Yet Trump came up almost empty on the wall and the Democrats came up empty on amnesty for illegal immigrants who were brought here as children.
Those who say “the system is broken” and “a pox on both their houses” might make this deal (and the preceding partial government shutdown) Exhibit A. However, most of the “dysfunction” here, if one wants to call it that, is due to the Democrats.
The Democrats have no principled objection to the wall, as is clear from their past support. However, they are determined to deny funding for it (or to provide woefully inadequate funding) because Trump made the wall his signature promise. The Democrats’ motive is to bring down Trump.
As for the “dreamers,” they are not a short-term priority for Democrats. Yes, the Dems are determined eventually to get them amnesty and, above all, a path to citizenship (i.e. a path to voting for Democrats). But they aren’t all that desirous of a granting them relief right now through a deal with Republicans. The absence of such a deal keeps the issue burning brightly so it can be exploited politically.
Meanwhile, some conservatives are burning about how far short the deal falls in terms of securing the border and combating illegal immigration. If Trump isn’t able to find a way to build more wall, the Democrats will succeed in striking a blow against him.
But how severe a blow, in the overall scheme of things? Assuming Trump goes forward with the wall, I don’t see many conservatives defecting over this deal, even if the judiciary ultimately thwarts him.