- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Rep. Adriano Espaillat said Wednesday that President Trump’s continued push for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border “throws salt on the wound” of the Charlottesville protests.

“That resonates to folks that he wants to get riled up. I think this is a fear-mongering at it’s very best. It’s divisive. It throws salt on the wound of Virginia, what just happened in Charlottesville, Virginia,” Mr. Espaillat, New York Democrat, said on CNN.

Mr. Trump renewed calls for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border during a speech in Arizona on Tuesday night.

“He’s taking money away from Medicaid, which would hurt children and families, poor families, [and] women,” Mr. Espaillat said. “These are the programs that will be hurt if he divests this money in the human capital and tries to build a divisive wall.”

But the New York Democrat doubts the wall will pass through Congress.

“He’s had trouble in his first 6-7 months of governing. He’s had trouble getting a consensus in Congress, even though the Republicans control both houses. So I wouldn’t say it’s a done deal, no absolutely not. I think there’s many of us on both sides of the aisle that think this is a bad idea,” he said.

Mr. Espaillat is the first formerly undocumented immigrant to serve in Congress. 

• Sally Persons can be reached at spersons@washingtontimes.com.

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