In a remarkable sign that the Democratic Caucus on Capitol Hill may have more cracks than previously assumed, two leading Democrats in recent days have gone out of their way to break with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the subject of a border wall. While neither Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) nor House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer are ready to concede funding for the wall, they both told media outlets this week that they did not agree with Pelosi about the supposed immorality of a barrier between the U.S. and Mexico.
In an interview with “Fox News Sunday,” Coons said there was nothing “immoral” about putting up a wall.
“I personally don’t think that a border wall is, in and of itself, immoral,” Coons said. “What I think the speaker may have been referring to is some of the immoral immigration policies of the Trump administration: forcibly separating children from parents at the border and detaining children in cage-like facilities. The humanitarian crisis I think may have been what she was referring to.”
Well, perhaps. That would be in line with Pelosi’s common tendency to mangle the English language. But it’s pretty hard to make the case that you could confuse the wall with something like family separation. Especially when you recall that the Trump administration’s family separation policy was not a policy at all, but rather a close reading of current federal law. The policy, as it were, was one of zero tolerance, which was then-AG Jeff Session’s attempt to end catch and release. And whether you consider it immoral or not, it was the administration’s only alternative to sustaining the broken status quo.
“Democrats will invest in border security,” Coons continued. “I’m not going to sit here and negotiate on behalf of Speaker Pelosi, but I will tell you that what [Sen.] Lindsey Graham [R-S.C.] himself just told the president is a great place to start here: Reopen the government, stop harming our country and our economy and let’s make our best efforts because we all agree we need to invest more in border security.”
Yeah, not sure how that’s going to work. Trump is not interested in your investment in “border security.” Yes, we need drones and sensors and cameras and the whole nine, but clearly that’s not enough. We need a wall.
Coons wasn’t the only Democrat to recognize the fallaciousness of Pelosi’s comments. Her second-in-command, Steny Hoyer, told CNBC last week that his objections to the wall were not based in morality but practicality.
“For me, it’s a practical issue,” Hoyer said. “Is it effective? Will it work? Is it the best thing we can do to secure the border? Most of the people I talk to, including on the border, don’t think it is.”
Well, yeah, that’s what happens when you limit your conversations to Democrats and immigration activists, but we’re quite used to Democrats living in their own little bubble.
At any rate, top Democrats clearly know that there is nothing “immoral” about protecting U.S. sovereignty from illegal immigrants. Therefore, this should simply be a matter of making the case that walls work. And there is PLENTY of evidence to support that argument.