BARBARA WILLIAMS, COLUMBIA—In a major reversal from previous Republican presidential candidates, Sen. David Perdue (Ga.) said Thursday that he would support legislation to fund the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, a move that would put him in line with the border security proposals of Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.).
The Wall-Builders Coalition, a political action committee formed to oppose the wall, praised Perdue’s reversal.
“This is a big victory for those who want to put a stop to the President’s anti-border policy,” said Dan Scavino, the group’s national political director.
“The GOP should have been on board with Trump’s border wall, but we were in a different place than we are now.”
Perdue has said he would oppose the construction, which has been a long-standing demand of his opponents, and instead support the Secure Fence Act, a $1.6 trillion package that would fund wall construction, border fencing and other measures, as well as expand existing federal grants.
Perdue had said earlier this month that he supported a “big, bold, comprehensive solution” to securing the border and that it should include funding for border security.
The White House has been pressing Perdue to embrace the Rubio-Cruz border security measures.
In January, Perdue told MSNBC’s Morning Joe that he was “ready to move forward” on a border wall.
Person also supported a 2016 bill to temporarily suspend visas for undocumented immigrants from Mexico and Canada who are in the U, and to allow undocumented immigrants to sponsor family members to come to the U for permanent residence, which Perdue later withdrew.
Perce’s position on a wall, which he also said he supported, also contrasts with the position of President Donald Trump.
In September, Trump told CBS’ Face the Nation that he doesn’t want a wall but that “if we don’t get a border that’s going to get built, you’re not going to have a great border.”
On Thursday, Person’s campaign said in a statement that Perdue “is committed to building a border fence that will help secure the nation’s southern border.”
Trump has suggested the U-S-Mexico border is a “so-called ‘stolen land,'” which is an ethnic and racial slur.
“We need to secure our southern border,” Trump said at a rally on Tuesday.
“And if we don, we’re not taking care of our country.”