Hegseth Presses NY Dem on Border Security Measures: 'Are Walls Immoral?'
Fox & Friends co-host Pete Hegseth pressed New York Rep. Sean Maloney Sunday on the effectiveness of walls as a means to stymie illegal immigration.
The debate comes amid the potential for another government shutdown, as lawmakers have a Feb. 15 deadline to agree upon a border security plan to present to President Trump for approval.
Maloney (D), who has in the past said he supports border barriers, said there has been a "robust, bipartisan tradition" of supporting border security in Congress, one that he believes will not change.
"A lot of us want to move on to real subjects that we also need to address," he said, citing working with President Trump on infrastructure.
Hegseth, who visited the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas last month, said that Border Patrol agents support constructing a physical barrier and that one would help them.
"Why would that not be a central component of any agreement?" he asked Maloney.
Maloney said it's unclear what Trump's wall proposal actually is, and that border agents are really seeking more drug-detecting equipment, roads and technology.
Walls can't scan for drugs.
Our latest border security proposal includes funding for new imaging technology at land ports of entry like the one in Nogales. This is why we need to have an adult discussion. These are complex issues - not reducible to a campaign catch phrase. https://t.co/zU5WAI0Rmd
— Sean Patrick Maloney (@RepSeanMaloney) January 31, 2019
"Are you for the physical barrier that prevents people from walking across the border like all of our experts say we need?" Hegseth then asked.
Maloney said in response that more loading bases are needed to inspect trucks, and that not enough drugs are being stopped because of reasons like that.
"I think we should run people through our legal process," he said. "The president did away with catch-and-release, and we started ripping kids away from their parents."
He added that congressional Democrats have always supported physical barriers "where they make sense."
When asked if he agrees with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's stance that border walls are immoral, Maloney said, "Let's talk about everything, from DREAMers to immigration reform, to asylum-seekers."