If this is a disappointing state of affairs, it’s a product of poor choices, by Trump and congressional Republicans, on one of the president’s top political priorities. It was malpractice not to get more funding for a border barrier out of Congress when it was held by Republicans (though the Democrats might have filibustered any deal they didn’t like). It was bizarre that the White House didn’t formally request more funding last year, before Trump drastically increased his demand to $5.7 billion near the end of process. Finally, it was foolhardy to lurch into a shutdown without a viable strategy for getting out of it.

At least the current deal doesn’t reflect Nancy Pelosi’s vow not to approve a dollar for a border barrier, and Democrats backed off their demand in the negotiations for a hard cap on ICE detentions.