Did Democrats Support Border Barriers Before Trump Took Office?

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer pose for pictures after delivering a response to President Donald Trump‘s televised address to the nation on border funding at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., on January 8th, 2019.

In his latest effort to wrestle congressional Democrats into relinquishing funding for his border wall, President Donald Trump has attempted to use Democrats’ past support for border legislation against them.

“Senator Chuck Schumer, who you will be hearing from later tonight, has repeatedly supported a physical barrier in the past along with many other Democrats,” Trump said during his controversial national address on Tuesday night. “They changed their mind only after I was elected president.”

Though Trump often accuses Democrats of supporting “open borders,” part of his team’s rhetorical gambit during the shutdown battle has been to allude to Democrats’ historical support for increased security and physical barriers on the southern border. The argument is that Democrats, once in favor of border barriers, are now only opposing the wall in an attempt to embarrass the president.

“We still don’t understand why the Democrats are so wholeheartedly against [the wall]. They voted for it in 2006. Then-Senator Obama voted for it. Senator Schumer voted for it. Senator Clinton voted for it. So we don’t understand why Democrats are now playing politics just because Donald Trump is in office,” White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said in 2017.

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