(CNSNews.com) - President Donald Trump has not yet commented on reports that congressional negotiators have reached a deal on border security.
But a White House spokesman on Tuesday said if Democrats insist on limiting detention beds for criminal aliens, they'll have to specify which congressional districts those overflow criminals should be released into.
The compromise border security deal reportedly gives the president $1.375 billion for a border "barrier" (not a wall); keeps ICE detention capacity for criminal aliens at the current 40,520 level; and appropriates an additional $1.7 billion to upgrade border technology, ports of entry, and other security measures.
Is this something President Trump could sign? Fox News asked White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley on Tuesday:
"We not sure yet, to be quite honest," Gidley replied.
I'm not really ready to focus on what could be in there. I'd like to focus on what is actually in there. But we haven't seen that yet.
We've heard some rumors and we've heard some reports. We've seen some reporting on exactly what could or could not be in there, but it doesn't jive with what we're hearing. It's not consistent with what we're hearing coming out of the conference committee. So until we actually see it, it's very difficult to comment on it.
I will tell you, the president obviously wants to protect the American people. He's been clear about what he wants. And so far, all we've heard from Democrats are proposals that included letting people out of jail who were convicted criminals. Some of those include rapists and murderers. That's completely unacceptable.
So if that kind of language is still in there, if they are going to stand by that particular proposal that ICE can't arrest criminals, and the ones that are in there, in overflow, have to be released, we've got a whole 'nother situation on our hands.
And the only thing that's missing from the Democrat proposal -- if that's still in there, in fact -- is a proposal from them to tell us exactly which districts of their own that they'd like for us to put those criminals into. Because that's just a ludicrous notion on its face.
So until we see actually see the language, it's very difficult to comment on something that isn't in front of us.
Gidley said he doesn't know why Democrats would want to limit ICE's capacity to detain criminal aliens: "Probably, I guess, it could be from their desire for open borders," he said.
Gidley said the proposal to reduce or limit ICE detention capacity came as a surprise, because of the "insanity" of releasing criminal aliens into U.S. communities.