House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) on Thursday said that Democrats are proposing an infrastructure plan that includes repairing roads to make it easier for immigrants to cross the southern border into the United States.
Pelosi, who has adamantly opposed President Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, held a press conference on Capitol Hill in which she outlined the Democratic infrastructure plan to help secure the border.
“[The plan] we are proposing is to build the infrastructure of the ports of entry, to strengthen that, the ports of entry, spend the money, the hundreds of millions of dollars, but accessible to have the scanning technology to scan cars coming through for drugs, contraband of any kind, weapons even,” Pelosi said.
She went on to say that Democrats want to “repair the roads that facilitate immigration and trade in those regions,” before echoing the Democratic talking point that a “technological wall” is better than the physical barrier that Trump and Republicans support.
Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) have both said they oppose Trump’s border wall proposal. The president has asked Congress for $5.7 billion to go toward the wall, but top congressional Democrats have indicated they will not give any money for the barrier. The dispute led to the ongoing partial government shutdown, which began on midnight on Dec. 22 after Congress could not pass a spending bill.
Trump met with both Pelosi and Schumer on Wednesday to negotiate, but called the meeting a “waste of time.”
“Just left a meeting with Chuck and Nancy, a total waste of time,” Trump tweeted. “I asked what is going to happen in 30 days if I quickly open things up, are you going to approve Border Security which includes a Wall or Steel Barrier? Nancy said, NO. I said bye-bye, nothing else works!”
Just left a meeting with Chuck and Nancy, a total waste of time. I asked what is going to happen in 30 days if I quickly open things up, are you going to approve Border Security which includes a Wall or Steel Barrier? Nancy said, NO. I said bye-bye, nothing else works!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 9, 2019
Pelosi and Schumer have argued that Trump should agree to sign piecemeal legislation that would fund the various government agencies aside from the Department of Homeland Security. They said that once the government is reopened, the debate over border security can happen.