Dem Rep. Hoyer Willing to Fund Border Wall in DACA Deal

Democrats appear ready to trade support for border wall funding in exchange for protections for young illegal immigrants, The Hill reported Tuesday.

Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., the second-ranking House Democratic leader, derided a border wall as an ineffective solution to illegal immigration — but said he would be open to some funding for it to save the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program President Donald Trump is trying to scrap.

“We have offered [wall funding] in the past,” Hoyer said Tuesday during his weekly press briefing, The Hill reported. “I think that would be something we certainly could negotiate.”

Trump has asked for as much as $25 billion for the wall; the 2018 spending bill included $1.6 billion for border security. Last month, he threatened to shut down the government at the end of September if Congress does not deliver more funding.

According to The Hill, Hoyer suggested that as part of any compromise, Democrats would seek border funding in smaller increments than the $25 billion Trump has sought.

“It is something that ought to be looked at on an annual basis by the Appropriations Committee,” he said, The Hill reported.

Meanwhile, the fight over the future of DACA is heating up on Capitol Hill, with more than a dozen Republicans signing a discharge petition designed to force votes on several immigration bills — against the wishes of Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and GOP leaders, according to The Hill.

The resolution, championed by Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif.. would force action on four separate bills to prevent the deportation of the roughly 700,000 undocumented immigrants who have benefited from DACA.

Eighteen Republicans have signed the discharge petition; Denham needs seven more to endorse the document and force floor action — assuming all 193 House Democrats also sign on. Hoyer predicted they would.

Ryan and other party leaders want to discourage any more Republicans from signing on, The Hill reported.

Hoyer said Ryan appears “sympathetic to the objective” of saving DACA, but might be trying to appease both vulnerable Republicans with Hispanic-heavy districts and hardline anti-DACA conservatives.

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