Will Democrats ever give Donald Trump a chance on border talks?

Greg Nash

There is only one person in Washington making a meaningful effort to solve the illegal immigration crisis and reopen the government, and his name is Donald Trump. Throughout the ongoing border security debate, President Trump has repeatedly sought to negotiate in good faith with the Democrats, offering numerous concessions in his efforts to reach an agreement that would end the shutdown and secure our southern border.

President Trump has personally met with Democratic leaders over the last month, and has been urging lawmakers from both sides of the aisle to “rise above partisan politics in order to support national security.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, however, flatly rejected any border security solution that includes funding to build a border wall, which is the one element that President Trump has made clear must be part of any deal.

{mosads}Even after Democrats refused to participate in a White House meeting to renew the negotiations, President Trump continued his outreach by inviting members of the bipartisan House Problem Solvers Caucus to meet with him the next day. During the border security debate, the White House has sought to appease Democrats, first by adding a request for $800 million in humanitarian funding intended to address valid concerns about the migrants, and then by proposing a three year reprieve for Dreamers and immigrants covered by temporary protected status.

For the last month, President Trump has been doing what a true leader does best by listening to the objections of his Democratic opponents and suggesting ways to meet in the middle. Sadly, the Democrats have shown from the beginning that they really have no interest in compromise, as evidenced by their refusal to even take their seats at the negotiating table. They only want President Trump to capitulate, but that will not happen.

Ironically, Pelosi has made a big public show of calling for bipartisanship in Congress, pledging to work with President Trump and his Republican colleagues to move forward on a wide variety of policy issues. “We will strive for bipartisanship in the belief that we have a responsibility to seek common ground where we can,” Pelosi said in November. This turned out to be false, as was the disingenuous claim by Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer that the Democrats would be willing to “resolve our differences” with President Trump if he agreed to end the shutdown.

Even when the Democrats did agree to meet with President Trump following his Oval Office address to the nation over the weekend, their political agenda allowed no room for compromise, with Pelosi explicitly rejecting the pledge she and Schumer had made just hours earlier.

Then a few days later, Pelosi was on the verge of taking a trip across the ocean with her fellow Democrats, which would have ensured there could be no deal to end the shutdown that is impacting 800,000 federal workers until she and her entourage returned home. President Trump wisely denied Pelosi and her delegation the use of military aircraft for the trip in order to keep them in Washington and, after flirting with the idea of following the White House suggestion that she fly to Afghanistan on a commercial plane, a fuming Pelosi canceled the trip at the last minute.

Throughout the ongoing border security standoff, the Democrats have made it abundantly clear that they are unwilling to consider any solution that involves a physical barrier on the United States border with Mexico. This is an approach that puts them directly at odds with the men and women who risk their lives to protect our borders every day. A vast majority of border patrol agents recently said that they support the plan for a physical barrier as an effective tool to prevent illegal immigration.

The Democrats claim that they are open to compromise in order to achieve true border security, but their actions demonstrate otherwise. Their leaders, now along with rank and file members, refuse to negotiate with President Trump, proving once and for all that they are willing to sacrifice our national security all for the sake of partisan obstruction.

Marc Lotter served as special assistant to President Donald Trump and as press secretary to Vice President Mike Pence. He is now on the advisory board of the Donald Trump campaign. You can follow him @Marc_Lotter.

Tags Charles Schumer Congress Democrats Donald Trump Government Immigration Mike Pence Nancy Pelosi Policy President Republicans Shutdown White House

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