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President’s Trump appears willing to risk a government shutdown this fall in order to secure funds for his promised wall on the United States-Mexico border. His prospects are slim, considering Republicans lawmakers need the support of Democrats to pass a bill to fund the government.
Trump has other options, however.

If the president is unable to get funding for the wall, he will need another way to improve border security that Congress could agree to fund. An enforcement program to reduce the number of people making illegal crossings is a viable alternative.

The program should include measures to prevent the removal of aliens who would benefit our national interests if they are allowed to remain. An enforcement-only approach would be counterproductive.
Mexico certainly won’t pay for the wall. In a leaked phone conversationTrump had earlier this year with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, Nieto said, “I have recognized the right of any government to protect its borders as it deems necessary and convenient. But my position has been and will continue to be very firm saying that Mexico cannot pay for that wall.”
And Congress may not pay for it either.
The House recently approved a spending bill that includes $1.6 billion towards building the wall, but it has stalled in the Senate. Senate Republicans apparently want to avoid the very same spending showdown with the Democrats that Trump is willing to cause.


Published originally on The Hill.

About the author.
Nolan Rappaport was detailed to the House Judiciary Committee as an executive branch immigration law expert for three years; he subsequently served as an immigration counsel for the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims for four years. Prior to working on the Judiciary Committee, he wrote decisions for the Board of Immigration Appeals for 20 years.