Tohono O'odham Nation Chairman Edward D Manuel, right, and Vice Chairman Verlon Jose are seen near the San Miguel Gate, a border crossing location on the reservation in southern Arizona. Photo: Tohono O'odham Nation
National | Politics

Border wall opposed by Tohono O'odham Nation 'off the table' in D.C.




An offer to fund a wall along the United States border with Mexico is "off the table," according to the top Democrat in the Senate.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-New York) had offered the wall in order to protect the so-called Dreamers, who were brought to the United States and children by their immigrant families. But the deal was only connected to the resolution of the government shutdown, he said.

“We’re going to have to start on a new basis, and the wall offer’s off the table,” Schumer told reporters on Tuesday, according to news accounts. The shutdown ended on Monday with promises to address immigration and the Dreamers program, otherwise known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.

The wall was a key campaign promise of President Donald Trump. Shortly after taking office a year ago, he issued an executive order calling for "immediate" construction but did not consult any tribes, including the Tohono O’odham Nation, whose reservation in Arizona lies along the border and whose leaders remain vehemently opposed to a wall.

"Over my dead body will a wall be built," Vice Chairman Verlon Jose told YES! Magazine after Trump won the election.


Tohono Oodham Nation on YouTube: "There's No O'odham Word for Wall"

Other tribes with lands in Arizona, California and Texas would be affected by a border wall too. Shortly after Trump took office last year, the National Congress of American Indians passed a resolution that "opposes the construction of a physical wall on the southern border of the United States on tribal lands without the consent of affected tribes."

Despite the opposition in Indian Country, Trump's administration has taken other steps to expedite the wall but funding has been a major sticking point in Washington, D.C. Democrats are refusing to go along with the costly and controversial project.

"Cryin’ Chuck Schumer fully understands, especially after his humiliating defeat, that if there is no Wall, there is no DACA. We must have safety and security, together with a strong Military, for our great people!" Trump wrote in a post on Twitter late Tuesday.

Read More on the Story:
Schumer withdraws offer on Trump's wall (POLITICO January 23, 2018)
Schumer has rescinded offer to Trump on border wall funding (The Washington Post January 23, 2018)
Border Wall ‘Off the Table,’ Schumer Says, as Immigration Progress Unravels (The New York Times January 23, 2018)

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