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Congress should pass a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) funding bill and let the question of President Obama's executive actions on immigration be handled through courts, Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamDems push for panel to probe Russian interference in election Graham, Durbin 'encouraged' by Trump's comments on Dreamers Graham says he'll lead probe of Russian intervention in election MORE (R-S.C.) said Sunday.
He encouraged other Republicans in Congress to join him in filing a friend of the court brief supporting a recent decision that put a hold on Obama's 2014 executive action, rather than litigating it through Congress.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) pushed a similar view last week.
The Obama administration has vowed to seek an emergency stay of a federal judge’s ruling last week in Texas, which put a hold on Obama’s executive action from last year.
Graham said he agreed with the Texas judge. The case will be appealed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Congress has a Friday deadline before the funding runs out for DHS, which could sideline about 15 percent of the agency while other essential employees would be forced to work without pay until new resources are approved.
House Republicans passed a funding bill in January, but action has stalled in the Senate because of Democratic opposition to riders that would defund a set of President Obama’s executive actions on deportation.
Graham said the terrorist threat is too great to see DHS handicapped. Republicans would also get blamed for the shutdown, he said.
"I hope my House colleagues will understand that our best bet is to challenge this in court, that if we don't fund the Department of Homeland Security, we'll get blamed as a party," he said.