Hamilton Journal News : 2019-02-11

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A2 | JOURNAL-NEWS | MONDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2019 COMPLETE. IN-DEPTH. DEPENDABLE. FROMPAGE ONE Bordertalks support for counterdrug activities. But declaring a national emergency remained an option, Mulvaney said, even though many in the administration have cooled on the prospect. A number of powerful Republicans, including SenateMajorityLeader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., have also warned against the move, believing it usurps power from Congress and could set a precedent for a future Democratic president. The fight over ICE detentions goes to the core of each party’s view on immigration. Republicans favor tough enforcement of immigration laws and have little interest in easing them if Democrats refuse to fund theMexican borderwall. Democrats despise the proposed wall and, inreturnforbordersecurity funds, want to curbwhat they see as unnecessarily harsh enforcement by ICE. People involvedin the talks say Democrats have proposed limiting thenumberof immigrantshereillegallywho are caught inside the U.S. — not at the border — that the agency can detain. Republicans say they don’t want that cap to apply to immigrants caught committing crimes, but Democrats do. Trump used the dispute to cast Democrats as soft on criminals. “I don’t think the Dems on the Border Committee are being allowed by their leaders to make a deal. They are offering very littlemoney for the desperately needed Border Wall & now, out of the blue, want a cap on convicted violent felons to be held in detention!” Trump tweeted Sunday. Democrats say they proposed their cap to force ICE to concentrate its internal enforcement efforts on dangerous immigrants, not those who lack legal authority to be in the country but are productive and otherwise pose no threat. Democrats have proposed reducing the current number of beds ICE uses to detain immigrants here illegally from 40,520 to 35,520. TEXAS El Paso barrier not proof walls are answer, locals say continued fromA1 fore was a related dispute over curbing Customs and Immigration Enforcement, or ICE, the federal agency that Republicans see as an emblem of tough immigration policies and Democrats accuse of often going too far. Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, in appearances onNBC’s“Meet the Press” and “Fox News Sunday,” said “you absolutely cannot” eliminate the possibility of another shutdown if a deal is not reached over the wall and other border matters. The White House had asked for $5.7 billion, a figure rejected bytheDemocratic-controlled House of Representatives, and the mood among bargainers has soured, according to people familiar with the negotiations not authorized to speak publicly. “You cannot take a shutdown off the table, and you cannot take $5.7 (billion) off the table,” Mulvaney told NBC, “but if you end up someplace in the middle, yeah, then what you probably see is the president say, ‘ Yeah, OK, and I’ll go find themoneysomeplace else.’” A congressional deal seemed to stall even after Mulvaney convened a bipartisan group of lawmakers at Camp David, the presidential retreat in northern Maryland. While the two sides seemed close to clinching a deal late lastweek, significant gaps remain and momentum appears to have slowed. Though congressional Democratic aides asserted that the dispute had caused the talks to break off, it was initially unclear howdamaging the rift was. Both sides are eager to resolve the long-running battle and avert a fresh closure of dozens of federal agencies that would begin next weekend if Congress doesn’t act by Friday. “I think talks are stalled right now,” Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., said Sunday on “Fox News Sunday.” “I’m not confidentwe’re going to ByWillWeissert AssociatedPress People walking over the Paso del Norte Bridge linking thisWest Texas border city toMexico can watch President Donald Trump’s borderwall getting bigger in real time. Workers in fluorescent smocks can be seen digging trenches, pouring concrete and erecting rust- colored slabs of 18-foot-high metal to replace layers of barbed wire-topped fencing along themud-coloredRio Grande, which is usually little more than a trickle. Most of the more than 70,000 people who legally cross four city bridges daily — to shop, go to school and work — pay the construction in the heart of downtown no mind. But on a recent weekday, oneman stopped and pointed, saying simply “Trump.” In his State of the Union address, the president said a “powerful barrier” had cut crime rates and turned El Paso fromone of the nation’s most dangerous cities to one of its safest. He’s holding a rally here Monday to show why he’s demanding more than 100 miles of newwalls, costing $5.7 billion, along the 1,900-mile border, despite opposition from Democrats and some Republicans. But many in this city of dusty desert winds and blistering salsa, bristle at the prospect of their home becoming a border wall poster child. It’s had border barriers for decades, but that isn’t why it’s a safe place, they say. El Paso, population around 800,000, already had one of the lowest violent crime rates intheU.S. That’sdespite being just across the border from drug violence-plagued Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. They argue that El Paso ActingWhiteHouse Chief of StaffMick Mulvaney told “Meet the Press” on Sunday, “You cannot take a shutdown offthe table.” EL PASO, TEXAS — OLIVIER DOULIERY / ABACA PRESS get there.” Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., who appeared on the same program, agreed: “We are not to the point where we can announce a deal.” But Mulvaney did signal that the White House would prefer not to have a repeat of the last shutdown, which stretchedmore than a month, left more than 800,000 government workers without paychecks, forcedapostponementof the State of the Union address and sent Trump’s poll numbers tumbling. As support in his ownparty began to splinter, Trump ended the shutdown after 35 days without getting money for the wall. This time, Mulvaney signaled that the White House may be willing to takewhatever congressional money comes — even if less than Trump’s goal — and then supplement that with other government funds. “The president is going to build the wall. That’s our attitude at this point,” Mulvaney said on Fox. “We’ll take asmuch money as you can give us, andwe’ll go find the money somewhere else, legally, and build that wall on the southern border, with or without Congress.” Thepresident’s supporters have suggested that Trump could use executive powers todivertmoney fromthe federal budget forwall construction, though itwas unclear if hewould face challenges in Congress or the courts. One provision of the lawlets the Defense Department provide Anewbarrier is built along theU.S.-Mexico border near downtown El Paso, Texas. Such barriers have been a part of El Paso for decades and are being expanded amid the fight over thewall and border security. ERIC GAY / AP measures initially was positive in some quarters because it helped reduce vagrancy and petty crime. ButmanyresidentsnowcomplainTrump’s demands have gone too far, making their home sound like a war zone. “The border is fluid culturally, economically,” said Cesar Blanco, a Democratic lawmakerwho lives a stone’s throwfromthe wall. “We are a binational community.” Those who live near the wall say they see fewpeople climbing the barriers now. In fiscal year 2017, about 25,000 peoplewere apprehended in Border Patrol’s El Paso sector, downfrom122,000-plus in fiscal year 2006. Instead, those crossing illegally now tend to do so outside the city in desolate deserts where deaths from exposure have risen. ManyRepublicans, though, say the low crime rate here is not a coincidence. The FBI’s Uniform Crime Report shows that El Paso’s annual number of reported violent crimes dropped from nearly 5,000 in 1995 to around 2,700 in 2016. But that corresponded to similar declines in violent crime nationwide and included times when the city’s crime rates actually increased yearover-year, despite newfencing and walls. embodies a cross- border spirit that transcends walls rather than proving more are needed. “The richest of the rich, the poorest of the poor, we all have different reasons for wanting to cross, and people cross every day,” said El Paso City Council member Peter Svarzbein. El Paso lays bare the mixed feelings the border inspires. Even native BetoO’Rourke, a formerDemocratic congressman now mulling a presidential run, says barriers are inevitable but that Trump’s calls for an expanded wall are the “cynical rhetoric of war, of invasions, of fear.” O’Rourke will help lead a Monday evening march opposing the wall with dozens of local civic, human rights and Hispanic groups at the same time Trump is holding his rally. For centuries, virtually nothing but an often easily wadable Rio Grande stood between the city and Juarez. But worsening economic problems in Mexico increased the flow of immigrants into the United States in the 1970s, prompting Congress to approve chain-link fencing hereandin San Diego dubbed the “Tortilla Curtain.” More barriers were addedin the 1990sand2006. Public reaction to the security RECENTLOTTERYDRAWINGS SUNDAYPICK3DAY SATURDAY PICK 3 NIGHT SUNDAYPICK4DAY SATURDAY PICK 4 NIGHT SUNDAYPICK5DAY SATURDAY PICK 5 NIGHT SATURDAYROLLINGCASH5 SATURDAY CLASSIC LOTTO SATURDAYTHEKICKER 7-0-3 2-9-1 9-4-7-7 8-8-0-8 2-3-8-4-5 6-8-9-6-3 3-4-6-15-16 3-18-24-40-43-45 5-9-1-0-6-7 JACKPOTS POWERBALL MEGAMILLIONS CLASSICLOTTO ROLLINGCASH5 $242MILLION $173MILLION $10.3 MILLION $130,000 It’s your community. ■ Find more results on ourwebsite. Whereabigger newspaper meansmore localnews. Know what’s really going on. 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