Democratic Senator Suggests Donald Trump Could Build Mexico Wall in Exchange for Immigration Reform Vote

Senator Joe Manchin said that President Donald Trump should bring back a vote on the 2013 immigration bill so he could "get what he needs" with regard to funding his border wall.

Speaking to CNN's Chris Cuomo, the West Virginia Democrat predicted that Trump would get the $5 billion he demands for the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if he allowed for another vote on the "tremendous" legislation that died in Congress the last time it was up for a vote.

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"You go back to the 2013 immigration reform bill that we did in the Senate. And we passed it with a majority of Democrats and Republicans, I think it was 68 votes. It was a tremendous piece of legislation.

"If the president would say this, Chris, we're going to bring that 2013 immigration reform bill back up within the 30-day trial period, within 30 days, it has to be voted on, it cannot be filibustered, cannot be blocked out, we're going to have to take a vote on the floor," Manchin said.

"If he would do that, he would get what he needs."

The 2013 immigration bill would have would have made it easier for millions of undocumented residents to gain U.S. citizenship while also increasing security on the border, including an additional 40,000 agents. Manchin previously discussed the bill during a closed-door Senate meeting with Democrats last week, reported The Hill.

The government has been in partial shutdown for 18 days over Trump's demand for billions in funding to help build his wall.

Elsewhere in the interview, Cuomo asked why anyone would vote in favor of the border wall considering it was just a "gimmick" that "resonated" with some voters when improved fencing or improved protocols are what is needed.

"He was never going to build a big concrete anything, Mexico was never going to pay for a damn thing and everybody knew it," Cuomo said.

The host also said thatTrump's rhetoric proclaiming "we're a wall away from safety" was "not true."

Manchin replied that he has always known that any improved border security would never have been "a China wall, or any other type of a wall" but additional border security measures, such as drones, more agents, and new X-ray machines at the ports of entry, were needed.

"There are so many things that we need to secure this border. But a fence or a secured border, a fencing of some sort is needed also," he said.

joe manchin
Joe Manchin is sworn in by Vice President Mike Pence during the swearing-in ceremony for recently elected senators in the Old Senate Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., January 3. The senator from West Virginia said Trump could get a border wall funding in exchange for a vote on the 2013 immigration reform bill. ALEX EDELMAN/AFP/Getty Images