Opinion | White House

Donald Trump proved himself by winning fight for border security

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Getting Congress to pass a bipartisan deal on border security may prove to be an underappreciated strategic triumph for President Trump, since with the new law, no one can say the wall is not being built. By signing the compromise, he not only won a battle for his immigration agenda, Trump also overcame the obstructionist tactics of the Democrats and forced his opponents to make an embarrassing concession on funding negotiations.

"The fact is a wall is an immorality," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said earlier this year, refusing to give the White House more than one dollar toward the federal project. "It is not who we are as a nation." Pelosi then doubled down on her position after Trump had agreed to a short term deal to end the partial government shutdown last month, promising that "there is not going to be any wall money" in the finalized legislation.

Astute observers will note that there is clearly a wide gap between that figure and the nearly $1.4 billion that Congress has appropriated to build 55 miles of border barriers. It is over a billion times more than Pelosi was ever willing to accept and amounts to about a quarter of the $5.7 billion that Trump sought based on recommendations of border security experts. Trump of course always knew the Democrats were highly unlikely to give him the full amount, which is why he never stopped making preparations to reappropriate funds through executive action, even as he had offered numerous compromise proposals in the hopes of breaking the impasse.

While less than $1.4 billion is not enough to build a wall across the entire southern border, it is nearly $1.4 billion more than what the Democrats were offering just a few short weeks ago. It is also nearly $1.4 billion less that Trump will have to secure through executive action. Thanks to his signing the bipartisan deal, Trump can now begin to secure the southern border in places where law enforcement says the wall is needed most.

Once the American people see how well those physical barriers work at mitigating the humanitarian and security crisis on the southern border, the obstructionist tactics of the Democrats during the funding fight will be discredited. Furthermore, the decision by Trump to bypass Pelosi by declaring a national emergency will be fully vindicated. Make no mistake, the bipartisan deal on border security is more than just a compromise. It is a broader strategic victory that permanently tilts the immigration debate in favor of Trump and marks a major triumph for the safety of our nation.

Madison Gesiotto is an attorney and commentator who serves with the advisory board of the Donald Trump campaign. She was an inauguration spokesperson and former Miss Ohio. She is on Twitter @MadisonGesiotto.

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