Graham: Trump 'open-minded' to wedding border funding to DACA protections

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTrump attacks WHO amid criticism of his coronavirus response Graham backs Trump, vows no money for WHO in next funding bill UN biodiversity chief calls for international ban of 'wet markets' MORE (R-S.C.) said Sunday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenators demand more details from Trump on intel watchdog firing Overnight Health Care: Trump steps up attack on WHO | Fauci says deaths could be lower than first projected | House panel warns federal stockpile of medical supplies depleted | Mnuchin, Schumer in talks over relief deal Trump says he'll look into small business loan program restricting casinos MORE is "open-minded" but noncommittal about a potential deal that would include border security funding and offer protections for young immigrants that Graham has floated to resolve the ongoing government shutdown.

Graham said Trump remained adamant that any agreement must include money for the president's desired wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Graham told reporters outside the White House that he spoke with Trump about a possible arrangement that would include $5 billion for border security, renewable work permits for beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and visas for thousands of individuals on temporary permits.

Graham had a private lunch with the president hours after he suggested on a Sunday show that such a deal could break the impasse that has led to a partial government shutdown.

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Democrats earlier this year expressed willingness to provide wall funding in exchange for protections for those who benefit from DACA, known as Dreamers, but the deal collapsed after Trump said he would no longer accept the deal.

The Trump administration rescinded DACA last year.

Graham suggested on CNN's "State of the Union" a "three-year one-time renewable work permit for the DACA population" could be included in a potential deal, which was part of the BRIDGE Act Graham and Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinDurbin: Bringing senators back in two weeks would be 'dangerous and risky' How the Senate should implement remote voting in emergencies Hillicon Valley: Schiff presses intel chief on staff changes | Warren offers plan to secure elections | Twitter's Jack Dorsey to donate B to coronavirus fight | WhatsApp takes steps to counter virus misinformation MORE (D-Ill.) previously introduced in the Senate. Graham also suggested action could be included to protect visas for individuals with expiring Temporary Protected Status (TPS).

"So, basically $5 billion for the wall, plus the BRIDGE Act, TPS and some legal changes to do away some of these magnets to illegal immigration ... might save the day in the Senate," he said.

Republicans and Democrats have clashed in recent weeks over Trump's demand for $5 billion in funding for his proposed border wall. The impasse led to a partial government shutdown that has lasted nine days and counting.

Graham said Sunday that Democrats have in the past voted in favor of implementing physical barriers along the border, and suggested Trump's wall proposal should be no different.

"The wall has become a metaphor for border security, and what we’re talking about is a physical barrier where it makes sense," Graham said. "In the past, every Democrat has voted for these physical barriers. It can’t be just about because Trump wants it, we no longer agree with it. There’s nothing immoral about a physical barrier along the border in places that make sense."

Asked on Sunday how long the government shutdown might continue, Graham said he didn't know.

Democrats have shown no indication they plan to give into the president's demands for wall funding. A stopgap funding bill that passed the Senate earlier this month contained $1.6 billion for border security.

A bill that passed the House contained Trump's desired $5 billion, but the measure stalled in the Senate.