Well, isn’t this interesting.
The Washington Examiner reports that while the rest of her party pounds the table for no-strings-attached open borders, Democrat Congresswoman Jackie Speier of California is at least paying lip service to the idea of supporting President Donald Trump’s “big, beautiful wall” to keep out illegal immigrants along the United States’ southern border.
However, before welcoming her into the ranks of the border hawks or declaring a revival of the Reagan Democrats, conservatives would do well to examine her words very carefully:
“I’m willing to go, you know, midway with the president and the Republicans to fund higher-tech walls along our border, more border security, enhanced measures, but I really feel very strongly that our DACA kids need to be protected,” Speier told MSNBC host Craig Melvin, who seemed stunned by the statement.
“To be clear, I want to clarify. You are okay with giving the president his wall in exchange for DACA?” Melvin asked.
“I would be willing to give the president a high-tech wall, willing to give him some amount of money to build his wall to a certain degree,” Speier said.
Here’s the video of Speier’s comments:
Well, it’s certainly more rhetorical ground than her party leaders are willing to give — Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has said that insisting on a border wall is practically asking for a government shutdown while House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi screeches that the wall would be “immoral” (despite the fact that Democrats were perfectly willing to vote for at least fencing not so long ago).
Even so, Speier isn’t actually committing to a true, full wall in this interview. She says she’d agree to “higher-tech walls” — which is common double-speak for more drones and cameras and such instead of a physical wall — and says she’d support building it “to a certain degree” — classic double-speak for a partial border wall.
Two things about all of this: first, of course human guards and surveillance technology are welcome, but it shouldn’t be either-or; having video identifying who crosses the border and when is all well and good, but it’s no substitute for having a physical structure there that illegal immigrants can’t cross in the first place.
Second, most people understand that building a serious wall doesn’t mean it has to literally cover every single inch between the coasts; of course there are spots where terrain such as rivers or mountains makes a wall unfeasible or unnecessary. But that’s a question for the people actually designing and constructing the thing to hash out. Whenever politicians start talking about how you don’t need a wall for every single foot of the border, they’re not referring to logistics; they’re setting up a pretext for covering far less than the amount of terrain that can be walled off.
Of course, all of this is contingent on the very open question of whether an immigration deal even happens. Open-border establishmentarians within the Republican Party are fuming that Trump adviser Stephen Miller insists that any deal actually include the reforms that America voted for in 2016; the White House continues to send mixed messages about just how firm Trump is on the wall, and Center for Immigration Studies executive director Mark Krikorian predicts that negotiations will eventually collapse under the weight of Democrats’ unflinching demands.
Electing Donald Trump was a great first step toward restoring America’s national sovereignty, but it seems we still have a long way to go before our government can be trusted to do the right thing.