The Latest: Top GOP negotiator says border talks improving
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on government negotiations over border security (all times local):
The top Republican negotiator for the House says talks on nettlesome border security issues are in “better shape today” and she’s optimistic that negotiations can produce a deal in time to meet a deadline to avoid a partial government shutdown.
Texas Rep. Kay Granger gave the optimistic assessment on her way into a meeting of other top negotiators that was convened after talks collapsed over the weekend over a Democratic demand to limit immigrant detentions by federal authorities.
She says the battle over capping detentions by Immigration and Customs Enforcement as demanded by top Democrats was one of those issues that “pop up” in negotiations.
She says there are several remaining outstanding issues.
The deadline to avoid a partial government shutdown is midnight Friday.
Ahead of a campaign rally in El Paso, Texas, President Donald Trump’s campaign has issued a new video calling for a border wall.
The video posted Monday offers testimonials from residents of the city advocating for the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. They say the wall is needed for public safety, arguing that El Paso’s border fence has helped the city.
The video concludes with the slogan “Finish the Wall,” an update on the “Build the Wall” chants that defined Trump’s 2016 campaign.
Trump’s Monday night rally is to take place just a few hundred yards from El Paso’s border fence. Trump has repeatedly exaggerated the impact of El Paso’s fencing on the city’s crime rate, as well as statistics about crime committed by people who have entered the U.S. illegally.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is urging Democrats to resume border security talks as Congress races to avoid another government shutdown.
McConnell complained Monday that Democrats are asking for too much from Republicans in the negotiations over President Donald Trump’s demand for money to build a wall on the Mexican border, his premier campaign promise.
In exchange for some funding for border barriers, Democrats want limits on the number of immigrants whom Immigration and Customs Enforcement can detain for illegal crossings and other violations. It’s a way to slow the Trump administration’s aggressive deportation policies.
McConnell called the detention bed limits “absurd.”
Chief budget negotiators are meeting again Monday to resume talks that sputtered over the weekend. They face Friday’s deadline to fund the government or risk another partial shutdown.
The White House is refusing to rule out the possibility that the federal government may shut down again.
Negotiators are clashing over whether to limit the number of migrants authorities can detain, creating a new hurdle for a border security compromise that Congress can accept.
With a Friday deadline approaching, the two sides remain separated over how much to spend on President Donald Trump’s promised border wall.
Rising to the fore is a related dispute over curbing Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, the federal agency that Republicans see as an emblem of tough immigration policies.
People involved in the talks say Democrats have proposed limiting the number of immigrants in the country illegally and caught inside the U.S. — not at the border — that the agency can detain.