January 15, 2019
Following Are Blunt’s Full Remarks:
“On that topic, the president, who is not well known for flexibility, has clearly been more flexible here than the other side. He’s taken a campaign discussion about a wall along the border and continued to look for ways that you can secure the border in whatever way you need to secure the border.
My colleagues have talked about how long the barrier part has been a part of what we’ve done as a country. Bush 41, I think, built the first substantial barrier south of San Diego in 1992. Detentions went down 95 percent. President Clinton built a barrier at El Paso in the mid-nineties, detentions went down 95 percent. President Bush 43 built a wall at Yuma, detentions went down 90 percent.
When you’ve got a 90 and 95 percent solution where it makes sense, that’s exactly the kind of solution that the American people would expect you to have. And let me say one other time, nobody will have more credibility than the president, if he is ever in a position where he can say ‘the border is under a level of control that the American people should expect their government to provide’ and when he says that, all the other discussions related to this will be much more easily solved.
What are the real workforce needs of the country? What do you do with people who came or stayed illegally? The easiest issue of all to solve, what do you do with people who grew up here and haven’t gotten into serious trouble? All that is easier to solve if the American people think that the government’s done its legitimate job, met its legitimate responsibility to secure the border.
The president’s trying to do that in the way that every president before him, since the 1990’s, has tried to do it. It’s time for the Democrats to be where they have been on this issue, many of them in the Congress, since the 1990’s, have totally reversed their position. If 700 miles of wall is fine, 702 miles is not immoral. It’s a ridiculous place to have that selective morality of just what you decide is not moral because someone else wants to do it."
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