Top Democrats Suggest Party Willing To Fund ‘Smart Wall’

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House Majority Whip James Clyburn said Wednesday that the Democratic Party would be willing to provide $5.7 billion in border security funding to end the ongoing government shutdown, the Hill reports.

Clyburn explains that the funds would not finance an ordinary wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, but a “smart wall.”

“Using the figure that the president has put on the table, if his $5.7 billion is about border security then we see ourselves fulfilling that request, only doing what I like to call using a smart wall.”

“These are the types of things that we are going to be putting forward,” Clyburn announced.

While the Democratic Party has vocally opposed the very notion of building a monumental wall on the Southern border — presidential challenger Kamala Harris, for instance, called Trump’s wall a “vanity project,” as per Salon — they have suggested that a compromise can be reached.

As detailed by a previous Inquisitr report, on January 19 President Donald Trump proposed temporary protections for “Dreamers,” immigrants who arrived in the United States illegally as children, and other minor immigration policy tweaks. His proposal, described as a non-compromise, was unequivocally rejected by the opposition party and condemned by civil liberties organizations.

Nonetheless, the ongoing government shutdown — which has left some 800,000 federal workers without pay, and crippled a number of government agencies — is the longest in United States history and its costs have surpassed the costs of the wall itself.

House Majority Whip James Clyburn is not the only Democrat to indicate that the party is willing to compromise. Chairman of the House budget committee John Yarmuth said today that the Democrats are open to the possibility of building walls and barriers on the border, provided there is evidence to show that more intense security is needed.

“If we open the government, we’re open to any kind of negotiation,” Yarmuth said, adding that this includes talks over building a border wall. The Democratic Party, according to Yarmuth, is drafting a letter to be sent to President Donald Trump. The letter will touch upon border security issues the Democrats are willing to discuss with the president.

“I think what the letter is designed to do is to establish a framework for what we’d like to negotiate,” Yarmuth said.

Building a monumental wall on the U.S.-Mexico border was one of Donald Trump’s key campaign promises, and he has repeatedly suggested that the barrier is meant to curb illegal immigration. Erecting a barrier on the border would be ineffective, research suggests, since by conservative estimates 40 percent of undocumented immigrants arrive by plane and overstay their visas, as per Politifact.

Perhaps more importantly, a number of studies have suggested — recently, a study by the conservative Cato Institute — that both documented and undocumented immigrants commit less crime than native-born Americans.