Clyburn: 'It's a Nonstarter' for Trump to 'Ask for a Permanent Wall and for Us to Have a Temporary Fix'

By Melanie Arter | January 21, 2019 | 11:37am EST
House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) (Screenshot)

( - House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) told “Fox News Sunday” that “it’s a nonstarter” for President Donald Trump to “ask for a permanent wall” while offering Democrats “a temporary fix” for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and illegals whose temporary protected status (TPS) is about to expire.

As previously reported, Trump offered a three-year provisional status for illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children who are eligible for DACA and a three-year extension for illegals in the U.S. under TPS.

Clyburn said Democrats want Trump to reopen the government and then see where they have common ground.

“We are all for negotiating, and we would love to have a permanent fix for DACA and TPS, just as he wants a permanent wall. I think it's a nonstarter for him to ask for a permanent wall and for us to have a temporary fix,” Clyburn said.


"Just think about what happened to DACA children. If you're finishing high school and get a temporary three year fix, it means by the time you got to your junior year of college, you are under threat of having this rug pulled out from under you, never being able to finish school, just as the president did when he came into office and got rid of what President Obama had done for DACA recipients,” he added.

“And so, this is the kind of stuff we want to sit down and put some stability in people's lives and have some permanent solutions to this immigration problem,” Clyburn said, adding that Trump “is the one who continues to play games with us.”

When asked whether he’s saying under no circumstances no new money for a wall, Clyburn said he considers “a smart wall” to be a “barrier.”

“It seemed as if the president started talking about barriers in a statement yesterday, and as you realize, I have been talking about barriers for a long time. A smart wall will be a barrier. A smart wall would be using drones, using sensors, using X-ray equipment to be an effective wall - not just something that would be a monument to one's existence, but to be a deterrent at the border and to be an effective barrier for people who are trying to come in illegally,” he said.

“But just to make clear, you're saying no negotiations, no compromise until he agrees to reopen the government, is that correct?” host Chris Wallace asked.

“That's absolutely correct,” Clyburn said. “I can't see us keeping federal employees, 800,000 people out of work while we go back and forth on negotiations. These negotiations could take three or four weeks. We ought to open the government up.

“We can pass a continuing resolution for 30 days, get the government open. Get people back to work, and then let's sit around the table and see where the common ground is. It may be just as simple as taking temporary off the TPS fixes, and I would hope that his TPS fix will include those countries where I find my roots, where he seemed to be so dismissive of some time ago, and that is Haiti, African countries, temporary protected status for all people seeking to come to this country,” he said.


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