Schumer: Trump will be blamed for shutdown over wall
© Greg Nash
 
"If the president goes down that path and insists on the wall or shut down the government, which he said back in September, make no mistake about it, a government shutdown will fall entirely, entirely on his shoulders," he said from the Senate floor. 
 
Trump's demand that a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border be included as part of any immigration deal has emerged as the largest hurdle to getting a government funding bill. 
 
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Congress has until Jan. 19 to prevent a government shutdown, and Democrats want a fix for the Deferred Acton for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program included in any agreement. Trump last year announced he would end the Obama-era program, which protects immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children from deportation, but gave Congress time to come up with a solution.
 
Schumer, on Tuesday, said he would support a "few places where a secure fence makes sense" but called a 2,200-mile border wall "completely ineffective and absurdly expensive." 
 
"President Trump is fighting for an empty symbol rather than smart policy that will actually produce better security at our borders. ... A medieval wall that you can't see through across the length of the southern border will not make us any safer," he said.

The president has requested $18 billion to build and repair roughly 700 miles of border structures.

Republicans are accusing Democrats of hypocrisy on border security, noting they supported a 2013 bill that included a host of new security provisions. 
 
But that bill would have overhauled the entire immigration system, granting new legal protections to the 11 million immigrants living in the country illegally. A DACA deal, by comparison, would affect only a sliver of the larger community. 
 
Trump is meeting with a bipartisan group of lawmakers on Tuesday to try to narrow the differences on any immigration agreement.