No Wall-Funding-For-DACA Deal, Nancy Pelosi Says In Interview

Asked by a reporter, the presumptive incoming House Speaker says she would reject a deal that trades wall funding for DACA relief.

A section of wall prototype.
Sandy Huffaker / Getty Images

Asked by a reporter, the presumptive incoming House Speaker says she would reject a deal that trades wall funding for DACA relief.

Ever since he began running for president, Donald Trump has been promising to build a wall on the border between the United States and Mexico. It was key to his messaging in the 2016 election on immigration — as was his promise to make Mexico pay for such a wall — and, as president, Trump has frequently touted prototypes of the wall.

While the border wall has begun construction in certain targeted projects, per the Hill, the larger project has not yet begun. The Democratic Party’s majority in House of Representatives seems likely to stymie the speed of such construction projects related to Trump’s promised wall, and now the presumptive leader of that House majority is choking off one potential avenue towards funding it.

Nancy Pelosi, who will presumably serve as Speaker of the House once the Democrats take over Congress in January, told reporters Thursday “no,” to the question of whether she would support “full wall funding if you got a bonafide solution on DACA.” The question was reported on Twitter by reporter Sahil Kapur of Bloomberg News.

DACA stands for Delayed Action for Childhood Arrivals, the 2012 executive action taken by the Obama Administration that would allow undocumented immigrants brought into the U.S. as children to avoid deportation — and to become eligible for work permits. The Trump Administration in 2017 announced plans to phase out DACA, but those plans have been delayed by a series of court rulings, leaving the nearly 700,000 DACA recipients in limbo.

In the same interview, Pelosi did not rule out some money for fencing or border enforcement, but made clear that the Democrats believe the idea of a wall is “immoral, ineffective, expensive.” She also had qualified praise for the new version of NAFTA, negotiated by Trump’s team with partners in Mexico and Canada.

Senator Charles Schumer of New York, the Democratic Senate Minority Leader, said last month that he was willing to offer $1.6 billion in funding for a wall, compared to the $5 billion the president has requested. But progressives assailed Schumer for offering any money for the wall at all. And, as Pelosi said in the interview Thursday, Trump had promised that Mexico would pay for the wall, making billions of U.S. appropriations unnecessary.

Pelosi, who served as House Speaker from 2007 through 2011, has not formally been elected speaker yet, but the effort from some centrist Democrats in the caucus to block her election has mostly collapsed. Congress will hold a lame duck session later this month, in which it will have to pass a continuing budget resolution, with the new Congress taking office in January.