Just one day after requesting eighteen billion dollars from congress, Donald Trump announced Saturday at Camp David “I believe Mexico will pay for the wall,”. The president also stated “I have a very good relationship with Mexico. But yes, in some form, Mexico will pay for the wall”. The statements were given during a news conference at the president’s country retreat, where republicans are preparing strategy for the 2018 midterm elections.
Since the beginning of any mention of the proposed border wall, Mexico has stated time and time again that it will not be allocating funds to pay for the wall. The eighteen billion in funds that Trump is asking congress for would be used to install a physical barrier along over 300 miles, and reinforce another roughly 400 miles of existing construction. According to a report by The Guardian, this expansion would mean that over half of the United States-Mexico border would be complete with an actual wall or physical construct.
In previous negotiations, Trump has called for an exchange of funding the border wall for approval of legislation protecting DACA citizens from deportation. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was implemented by president Barack Obama with the goal of offering a type of legal status to about 800,000 youth within the United States and protected them from being deported. These residents were given termed “Dreamers”.
During the conference Trump also stated “We all want Daca to happen but we also want great security for our country,”. The minority democrat party has stated previously that it will not accept a border wall, but doesn’t necessarily opposed strengthening border security in other ways.
A decision on DACA is needed before the 5th of March in 2018. Democratic leaders hope to vote on a fix for the program concurrently with the budget vote due before January 19th to prevent another government shut down. The party seems to be using this deadline as leverage for obtaining legislation on the matter in exchange for further government funding.