Email received today (Feb8, 2019):

With one-week left, some fence funding looking likely amid danger of cuts in interior enforcement

FRI, FEB 8th

Congress has until next Friday to agree on spending for the Department of Homeland Security to avoid another partial government shutdown. No agreement has been reached, but there's growing optimism that one can be reached before the deadline.

The group of 17 lawmakers who are negotiating the terms will need to reach an agreement by the end of this weekend to leave enough time to pass legislation by the Feb. 15 deadline. There are already rumors of another short-term extension to give them more time.

There's been no word from the White House as to whether Pres. Trump would sign a deal if it doesn't include his border fencing request, but Chairman for the Senate Appropriations Committee, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), met with the President yesterday and called the progress "positive." One thing is certain, the final deal will not include all of Pres. Trump's $5.7 billion request for new fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Democrats, who have said they won't support any additional funds for a border fence, are now acknowledging that there will be money for more barriers. The questions that remain are: 1) how much funding will be included, 2) what limitations (if any) will be put on what kind of barriers and where, and 3) at what cost in terms of reductions in other kinds of enforcement?
The third question could be key. There's a chance that Democrats could support funding for additional fencing at the expense of less funding for interior enforcement. The Washington Times reports that a representative from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has been blocked from the negotiations, while a representative from Border Patrol briefed the negotiators this week.

That means ICE is not present to defend against the Democratic proposals to cut the number of detention beds, or to counter newly-elected Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) who held a rally on the Capitol steps just yesterday calling for abolishing ICE.

There are also new reports that the agreement could block implementation of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions' ruling to strengthen the credible fear standard for asylum seekers.
We'll continue to keep you updated as things develop.

Pres. Trump: 'We need People'

Pres. Trump doubled-down on his State of the Union call for more immigration when he told a group of reporters on Wednesday that "we need more people."

During his run for the White House, then-candidate Trump actually called for a moratorium on immigration. But he's consistently called for more legal immigration since becoming President despite his calls to end chain migration and the visa lottery.

Most concerning, when the President was asked if this was a shift in policy for the Administration, he said "yes."

Pres. Trump thinks we need more immigration because of the economic gains that have been made during his first two years in office.

It's true that the official unemployment rate (those who actually looked for a job in the last month) is at its lowest in nearly 20 years, and there have been modest gains in wages for American workers. But there are still 50 million working-age Americans not working, and at least 13 million Americans who say they want a full-time job but can't find one.

Increasing legal immigration would break a campaign promise made by Pres. Trump and harm the gains made by American workers over the last two years.

We've posted new messages on your Action Board to send to Pres. Trump, urging him not to reverse the economic gains of the last two years by increasing legal immigration.

(Click here to read everything the President said about immigration in his Tuesday night address, and also in last year's State of the Union.)