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Democrats Urged to Reject $1.375 Billion for Trump Border Wall in Compromise Spending Bill

"It's time to stand up for border communities."

U.S. Border Patrol Agents at Border Field State Park in Imperial Beach watch over personnel that are reinforcing the border wall with concertina wire.

U.S. Border Patrol Agents at Border Field State Park in Imperial Beach watch over personnel that are reinforcing the border wall with concertina wire. (Photo: Mani Albrecht/U.S. Border Patrol/Flickr)

Immigrant rights advocates on Monday denounced Democrats for reportedly agreeing to $1.375 billion in funding for President Donald Trump's border wall obsession and called on lawmakers to speak out against the agreement.

Rep. Filemon Vela (D-Texas) called for fellow members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to completely reject funding the wall.

"Otherwise, why even exist?" the congressman tweeted. "It's time to stand up for border communities!"

The spending bill was agreed to last week after negotiations between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, House Appropriations Chairwoman Rep. Nita M. Lowey (D-N.Y.), and Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.). 

According to Politico, the border wall funding represents a compromise of sorts:

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Money for the U.S.-Mexico barrier will stay static during the current fiscal year, at about $1.4 billion, rather than the president's request for $8.6 billion. Budgets for the nation's two immigration enforcement agencies—Customs and Border Protection, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement—are also largely flat-lined.

Journalist David Dayen, noting that Trump can easily find more funding for the wall by moving money around, was nonetheless confused by Democrats giving the president a win.

"What's the rationale to make things easier on Trump here?" wondered Dayen.

Though the border wall spending is far less than the $5 billion the president wanted, opponents of Trump's immigration policies took issue with funding the wall at all.

News of the spending bill's border wall provision provoked groans from progressives on social media. 

"Hell of an opposition party Trump has to face," journalist James Fredrik said sarcastically.

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