Democrats are so opposed to President Donald Trump’s push to build a border wall along most of the U.S.-Mexico border they are willing to deny his funding requests and allow the government to be shut down.
But it wasn’t always like this. In fact, once upon a time when nearly all Washington politicians could agree on the benefits of border security, Democrats were on board supporting tough new barriers as a way of reducing illegal immigration and drug smuggling.
And Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-.NY., was among them.
In fact, as The Daily Wire notes, in 2009 Schumer said that building hundreds of miles of fencing along the border with Mexico made the U.S. “far more secure” because of the “significant barrier to illegal immigration” it created.
“The first of these seven principles is that illegal immigration is wrong, plain and simple,” Schumer told attendees of the 6th Annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference at Georgetown University when discussing the seven principles he said comprised an immigration reform bill he sought to pass.
“When we use phrases like ‘undocumented workers,’ we convey a message to the American people that their government is not serious about combating illegal immigration, which the American people overwhelmingly oppose,” he added.
“People who enter the United States without our permission are illegal aliens, and illegal aliens should not be treated the same as people who entered the United States legally,” Schumer continued.
“Any immigration solution must recognize that we must do as much as we can to gain operational control of our borders as soon as possible.”
The New York Democrat further explained that building significant barriers make the border regions much safer as well because of the difficulty migrants would experience in trying to gain access illegally to the U.S.
“The American people need to know that, because of our efforts in Congress, our border is far more secure today than it was when we began debating comprehensive immigration reform in 2005,” Schumer said. “Between 2005 and 2009, a vast amount of progress has been made on our borders and ports of entry.
“This progress includes … construction of 630 miles of border fence that creates a significant barrier to illegal immigration on our southern land border,” he added.
Democrats just don’t want Trump to succeed
Per The Daily Wire’s Ryan Saavedra:
Chuck Schumer in 2009:
-Americans don't like illegal immigration
-"Illegal immigration is wrong"
-People illegally in the U.S. are "illegal aliens," not "undocumented"
-Border fence made the southern border "far more secure…created a significant barrier to illegal immigration" pic.twitter.com/zoVyEgdrTC
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) December 28, 2018
As the Boston Globe reported, Democrats were also supportive of the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which passed. The law authorized (and funded) the construction of substantial fencing along roughly 700 miles of border. The paper said the legislation “passed into law with the support of 26 Democratic senators including party leaders like Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and Chuck Schumer.” In the House, the paper noted, 64 Democrats supported the legislation which passed 283-138.
But now that the president is Donald Trump, Schumer and Co. have all changed their tune; denying him a political victory has become more important than border security, including a wall/fence/barrier. (Related: Illegal immigration costs U.S. taxpayers $155 billion per year… building a wall could pay for itself almost immediately.)
Before Christmas, the House passed a bill containing $5.7 billion in wall funding — the president had said he wanted at least $5 billion — but Schumer declared it dead on arrival in the Senate, where Republicans control but would need Democratic support to overcome the 60-vote filibuster threshold to pass anything.
“The bill that’s on the floor of the House, everyone knows will not pass the Senate,” said Schumer.
“Everyone knows it can’t pass the Senate. It’s a cynical attempt to just hurt innocent people and do just what President Trump wants even though they probably know it’s bad for the country,” he added.
In less than a decade, Schumer has gone from full-throated advocate of border barriers and security to declaring that both are “bad for the country.”