Trump Says He’s ‘Not Happy’ With Border Deal, but Doesn’t Say if He Will Sign It

Politics

As Mr. Trump weighed his options, one person familiar with his thinking described him as frustrated by months of Republicans not doing what he hoped to see done at the border. Conservatives saw the deal as a capitulation by the Republican leadership, one that put Mr. Trump in a difficult spot.

A few weeks ago, in a meeting with restrictionist immigration group leaders, Mr. Trump faulted the former Speaker Paul D. Ryan, a fellow Republican, for repeatedly deferring action on the wall, with promises of doing it down the road. “Now he’s out fishing!” Mr. Trump declared, according to an attendee.

The agreement includes a provision that could give the Trump administration broad discretion to increase the number of slots to shelter detained migrants, a win for Republicans that could ease the sting of Mr. Trump’s failure to secure full funding for his border wall.

On its face, Monday’s agreement, which still requires passage by both houses of Congress and approval by the president, authorizes the Department of Homeland Security to fund about 40,000 detention “beds,” many of them in facilities run by for-profit companies and Immigration and Customs Enforcement itself near the border in Texas, Arizona and California.

In background briefings on the deal, House Democratic aides described the language as a “glide path” from the current level of 49,000 detention beds back down to Obama-era levels of 35,000 or lower.

But a summary of the provisions drafted by Republican staff members on the Senate Appropriations Committee presents a different picture, and one that could be a victory for the White House in an otherwise drab and wall-free deal. The document, provided by an aide to a senator who was reviewing the compromise, places the average number of beds funded under the deal at a much higher number — 45,274, including 2,500 slots for families.

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