The next presidential election is almost 3 years from now. The government was shut down on Saturday at midnight and thousands of government employees have been furloughed or are working without pay.
President Trump is releasing campaign ads.
On Saturday, Trump released an ad through his campaign accusing Democrats that stand in Trump’s way of building a wall along the southern border “will be complicit in every murder committed by illegal immigrants.”
The timing of the ad is especially odd because, on Friday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer went to the White House and offered to support funding for a border wall in exchange for legal status for DREAMers, undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children.
Other key Democrats, including Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), have expressed a willingness to fund a wall, which they still oppose, in exchange for legal protections for DREAMers and an end to the government shutdown.
Luis Gutierrez to me earlier: "It's an awfully wasteful burden on the taxpayers to build a wall, but I've come to a conclusion that lives are more important than bricks." pic.twitter.com/W8dAcCVkCq
— Elise Foley (@elisefoley) January 20, 2018
Trump rejected the deal through his Chief of Staff, John Kelly, who said the offer to fund a wall was not enough.
Trump, who famously promised Mexico would fund the wall but is now demanding taxpayer dollars, appears more interested in the wall as a political cudgel. He admitted as much in a conversation last January with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. In a transcript of the call, which was leaked, Trump describes the border wall as “the least important thing that we are talking about, but politically…the most important.”
Experts believe that walls are an expensive and ineffective way to deter illegal immigration.