(Senate - September 14, 2017)

Text available as:

Formatting necessary for an accurate reading of this text may be shown by tags (e.g., <DELETED> or <BOLD>) or may be missing from this TXT display. For complete and accurate display of this text, see the PDF.

[Congressional Record Volume 163, Number 149 (Thursday, September 14, 2017)]
[Pages S5710-S5711]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                        DACA AND BORDER SECURITY

  Mr. SCHUMER. Mr. President, last night, Leader Pelosi and I had a 
constructive meeting with President Trump and several members of his 
  One of our most productive discussions was about the DACA Program, to 
which we all agreed on a framework: to pass DACA protections and 
additional border security measures, excluding the wall. We agreed that 
the President would support enshrining the DACA protections into law. 
In fact, it is something, he stated, that for a while has needed to be 
done. The President also encouraged the House and Senate to act.
  What remains to be negotiated are the details of border security with 
the mutual goal of finalizing all of the details as soon as possible. 
While both sides agreed that the wall would not be any part of this 
agreement, the President made clear that he intends to pursue it at a 
later time, and we made clear that we would continue to oppose it.
  If you listened to the President's comments this morning and to 
Director Mulvaney's comments this morning, it is clear that what Leader 
Pelosi and I put out last night was exactly accurate and was confirmed 
again this morning by our statement, by the President's statement 
before he got on the helicopter to go to Florida, and by Director 
Mulvaney's comments. We have reached an understanding on this issue, 
but we have to work out details, and we can work together on a border 
security package with the White House to get DACA on the floor quickly.
  Let me talk for a minute about border security. We Democrats are for 
border security. We passed a robust border security package as part of 
immigration reform in 2013, as the Acting President pro tempore knows 
better than anybody else. We are not for the wall, and we will never be 
for the wall. It is expensive, it is ineffective, and it involves a lot 
of difficult eminent domain--taking people's property--and, apparently, 
it is not being paid for by Mexico. In fact, I listened to FOX News 
this morning--I am starting to do that to see what is going on over 
there--and they keep saying that in the campaign the President promised 
a wall. Yes. He

[[Page S5711]]

also promised that Mexico would pay for it. Where is Mexico? It has 
said 12 times that it is not paying for it. That is not the promise he 
  Finally, on the wall, it sends a terrible symbol to the world about 
the United States--about who we are, what kind of country we are. Since 
the 1880s, a beautiful statue in the harbor of the city in which I live 
has been the symbol of America to the world--that great torch that 
symbolizes what a noble land we are. Can you imagine, if in future 
decades, that symbol were to be replaced with a big, foreboding wall? 
That is not who America is, was, or, hopefully, will be.
  As I mentioned, we are for sensible border security, and there are 
many more effective ways of securing the border than by building a 
wall. A wall can be scaled over. I am sure that those who love the wall 
have heard of ladders. A wall can be tunneled under. I am sure that 
those who support the wall have heard of shovels. It is a medieval 
solution for a modern problem--a ``Game of Thrones'' idea for a world 
that is a lot closer to ``Star Wars.'' The thing is that we have new, 
modern solutions that use our best technology. We discussed some of 
them at the White House last night.
  Drones. These drones can spot the difference between a deer and a 
human being crossing the border. We have great sensory equipment, and 
our military has specialized in this kind of stuff. A lot of it is made 
in Syracuse, NY, I am proud to say. We can rebuild roads along the 
border. Talk to the people in the Border Patrol, and they will say that 
a lot of places do not have roads so that, if they see someone crossing 
the border, they cannot get to them. Of course, there is the bipartisan 
McCaul-Thompson bill in the House--McCaul, a Republican, and Thompson, 
a Democrat--that has broad, bipartisan support and that sets certain 
standards. Every one of these ideas would provide better, more 
effective border security than would a medieval wall.
  There is still much to be done. We have to put meat on the bones of 
the agreement, and the details will matter, but it was a very, very 
positive step for the President to commit to DACA protections without 
insisting on the inclusion of or even a debate about the border wall.