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

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamHillicon Valley: Commerce extends Huawei waiver | Senate Dems unveil privacy bill priorities | House funding measure extends surveillance program | Trump to tour Apple factory | GOP bill would restrict US data going to China Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Stopgap spending bill includes military pay raise | Schumer presses Pentagon to protect impeachment witnesses | US ends civil-nuclear waiver in Iran Cruz, Graham and Cheney call on Trump to end all nuclear waivers for Iran MORE (R-S.C.) said Sunday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpMost Americans break with Trump on Ukraine, but just 45 percent think he should be removed: poll Judge orders Democrats to give notice if they request Trump's NY tax returns Trump's doctor issues letter addressing 'speculation' about visit to Walter Reed 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The Trump administration rescinded DACA last year.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 DurbinGOP divided over impeachment trial strategy Democratic senators introduce bill to push ICE to stop 'overuse' of solitary confinement Pentagon watchdog declines to investigate hold on Ukraine aid 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.