© 2022 WRVO Public Media
bg.jpg
Your Source for NPR News
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Katko says Democrats, GOP need to compromise on border security

Katko_0.jpg
Ellen Abbott
/
WRVO Public Media File Photo
Rep. John Katko won reelection in November.

The White House has signaled it may not shut down the government over $5 billion for a wall along the Southern Border. But central New York’s congressional representative said the issue is not going away.

President Donald Trump threatened the shutdown at a contentious meeting with Democratic leaders Charles Schumer and Nancy Pelosi in the Oval Office last week. Schumer told reporters in Albany on Friday the meeting did not go as planned.

“We were told the meeting would have no press and it would be a quiet discussion and then we sat down, he invited all the press in and then he started talking,” Schumer said. 

The scene was sophomoric and there were no clean hands after it, according to Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus). He said this issue will be recurring. Trump’s idea is $25 billion over five years for a border wall. Katko said border security and immigration should be bipartisan issues.

“The Democrats dug in, not wanting to give the president any wins," Katko said. "The president had an opportunity a while back, with an immigration bill I helped negotiate, that would have been a comprehensive immigration and border security reform. He was influenced by the far right of my party and he sent bad signals and that’s why the bill failed.”

Katko said not a single Democrat voted for that bill earlier this year, even though, besides funding a wall, it helped DACA recipients, also known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or kids brought into the country illegally.

"When they had a chance to give them not only status but a path to citizenship, they turned their back on it for political reasons," Katko said. 

As he gets ready for a new term, Katko said he hopes both sides will put down their swords and get a deal done. 

Tom Magnarelli is a reporter covering the central New York and Syracuse area. He joined WRVO as a freelance reporter in 2012 while a student at Syracuse University and was hired full time in 2015. He has reported extensively on politics, education, arts and culture and other issues around central New York.