The current sticking point in the negotiations is not over a wall. It’s over the number of detention beds for undocumented immigrants who enter the country.
“A deal that includes new physical barriers must all include limits on the number of ICE detention beds. If Senate Republicans won’t compromise with us on both, we can’t reach a deal.” A senior Democratic aide purportedly said that Senate Republicans needed to accept “Limits” on Trump immigration policies in the form of a cap on the bed count.
In a letter sent to negotiators during the last round of talks in January, the White House Office of Management and Budget requested $4.2 billion for 52,000 beds, $798 million more than current funding levels.
Democrats are proposing a cap of 16,500 detention beds.
“A cap on ICE detention beds will force the Trump administration to prioritize deportation for criminals and people who pose real security threats, not law-abiding immigrants who are contributing to our country,” Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Calif., chairwoman of the Homeland Security Appropriations subcommittee and a member of the conference committee, said in a statement Sunday.
A cap on detention beds, a House Democratic aide said, would also rein in the Trump administration’s agenda on deportations.
Rep. Dan Kildee of Michigan, the Democratic Caucus chief deputy whip, was asked Monday on CNN if drawing a line on the bed count issue would be worth risking another government shutdown.