Updated: Feb 16, 2019
An immigration enforcement advocate isn't confident that President Donald Trump's announcement of a deal to reopen the government will end up in an agreement with Democrats for money to build his long-promised wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.
For weeks the president said he would not reopen the government without border wall money. But on Friday, Trump announced a plan to reopen the government for three weeks in hopes that a bipartisan group will work out a deal that will include money for a barrier.
"If we don't get a fair deal from Congress, the government will either shut down on February 15 again," the president said on Friday, "or I will use the powers afforded to me under the laws and the Constitution of the United States to address this emergency." The Associated Press reports that on Sunday, Trump said the odds that congressional negotiators will craft a deal to end his border wall standoff with Congress are "less than 50-50."
Jessica Vaughan is director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies. She isn't sure congressional negotiators will be intimidated by Trump's threat to declare a national emergency if they aren't able to reach a deal.
"They know that they have the open borders activist groups that will be willing to sue over that declaration at the drop of a hat," she tells OneNewsNow. "So I think that they feel like they have the courts on their side, at least the lower courts, and they're willing to risk that."
The former foreign service officer with the State Department is concerned that if a border funding deal is worked out, it could be very problematic.
"It's probably not going to address sanctuary cities. It's probably not going to address the asylum reforms that we need," Vaughn predicts. "It's likely to be narrowly tailored to amnesty in exchange for a wall – and this is not a good deal."
If there's no deal by February 15, how likely is it Trump will follow through on his threats? Very likely, if one believes White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney.
"He doesn't want to shut the government down, let's make that very clear. He doesn't want to declare a national emergency," Mulvaney stated. "[But at] the end of the day, the president's commitment is to defend the nation – and he will do it with or without Congress."