WASHINGTON — At the heart of the confrontation that led to a government shutdown lie two weeks of mixed messaging by the president — and two decades of deep-seated acrimony and suspicion between Democrats and Republicans on immigration.
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“The Dems just want illegal immigrants to pour into our nation unchecked,” President Trump tweeted Sunday. Senator Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Republican and majority leader, said his Democratic counterpart, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, was “playing with all of those lives over the issue of illegal immigration.” A Trump campaign official, Michael Glassner, lauded the president for keeping Americans safe from “evil, illegal immigrants who commit violent crimes against lawful U.S. citizens.”
Those derisive statements and others help explain why Democrats entered into the politically perilous fight. After
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