“This will be a wall with a big, very beautiful door because we want the legals to come back into the country.” -Donald J. Trump, August 23, 2015
“I want people to come into our country legally. I want to have a big, fat, beautiful open door.” -Donald J. Trump, September 3, 2015
“I want tremendous numbers of people to come in, and we are going to have that big beautiful door in the wall.” -Donald J. Trump, November 2, 2016
“We’re going to have a big, fat beautiful door right in the middle of the wall. We’re going to have people come in, but they’re coming in legally.” -Donald J. Trump, October 28, 2015
The House Freedom Caucus—a coalition of Republicans—were reportedly the “driving force” behind talking President Trump into a government shutdown over the border wall. Freedom Caucus leaders Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Mark Meadows (R-NC) “led a revolt” on the House floor against the bill that would have kept the government open without more money for Trump’s wall. Rep. Jordan justified their position this way:
Let’s do what we said. Let’s build the border security wall …It’s pretty simple. What did you tell the voters you were going to do? What did they elect you to do? Go do that.
That’s a fair point. Trump did center his campaign in 2016 around a border wall along the southern border. Of course, he also told voters repeatedly that Mexico—not U.S. taxpayers—would pay for it. But setting that issue aside, President Trump also vociferously promised that the border wall would contain a “big beautiful door” that would let in “tremendous numbers of people.” So why are Republicans not demanding a shutdown if the door isn’t built? Isn’t that what Americans were promised too?
Of course, they have no intention of keeping this promise. The Trump administration is closing down legal ports of entry for asylum seekers to prevent them from entering legally. It has championed bills to cut legal immigration by 50 percent, and its regulations are already making legal immigration much more difficult. Don’t expect any shutdowns for the “big beautiful door” any time soon.