Democrats roll out their big border security package - featuring an icebreaker for the Arctic Circle
Democrats unveiled their proposal for addressing the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border this week, and it includes funding for a new polar icebreaker for the U.S. Coast Guard.The proposal, unveiled Wednesday at the first meeting of the conference committee to negotiate a bipartisan solution, was presented by Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), and is the Democratic Party’s official position.
Jim Clyburn wants to call his border security plan a wall, even though it’s really not.Clyburn, the third-ranking House Democrat, is proposing what he calls a “smart wall,” a border security strategy that uses technology, not concrete.The South Carolina congressman explained his “wall” would involve drones, scanners, and sensors “to create a technological barrier too high to climb over, too wide to go around, and too deep to burrow under.”His terminology matters because Democrats have signaled they’re willing to make a deal on border security that, at least rhetorically, would include some sort of barrier.They just need to label their plan carefully, and finding the right words and tone is going to be a major theme as congressional negotiators continue to seek a deal next week.
Democrats also insisted on their own priorities beyond homeland security. They proposed new funding to improve Customs and Border Protection’s care for migrants in the agency’s custody, expanding an “alternatives to detention” program at Immigration and Customs Enforcement to keep families together while reducing the number of ICE detention beds and requiring more frequent detention-facility inspections.