Key Democrat says Graham’s border-wall framework falls short

Key Democrat says Graham’s border-wall framework falls short
© Stefani Reynolds

Senate Democratic Whip Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinNegotiators face major obstacles to meeting July border deadline Senate set to bypass Iran fight amid growing tensions Schumer calls for delay on passage of defense bill amid Iran tensions MORE (Ill.), a key negotiator on immigration issues, said Thursday that a proposal being put together by a group of moderate Republicans falls short because it would not provide permanent help to immigrants known as Dreamers.

He told reporters he would not agree to a substantial increase in border-fencing funding if Republicans provide only temporary protection to immigrants who came to the country illegally at a young age and now face deportation because President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew EPA rule would expand Trump officials' powers to reject FOIA requests Democratic senator introduces bill to ban gun silencers Democrats: Ex-Commerce aide said Ross asked him to examine adding census citizenship question MORE rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

ADVERTISEMENT

Durbin's comments were in reference to a group of GOP colleagues who met in Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTrump puts the cart before the horse in Palestine Negotiators face major obstacles to meeting July border deadline Hillicon Valley: Senate bill would force companies to disclose value of user data | Waters to hold hearing on Facebook cryptocurrency | GOP divided on election security bills | US tracking Russian, Iranian social media campaigns MORE’s (R-S.C.) office Wednesday afternoon.

Graham said the group has a framework that would combine border wall funding with sweeteners that could attract Democratic support, but right now they’re looking at a three-year temporary fix to the DACA program, according to a GOP source familiar with the talks.

Durbin said a temporary fix for DACA recipients “doesn’t buy much from me.”

He said Republicans would need to agree to a path to citizenship for the estimated 1.8 million immigrants who would be eligible for DACA protection.

“There are some aspects of border wall that Democrats are not going to accept,” Durbin said, adding a “2,000-mile, sea-to-shining-sea, concrete wall” is “off the table.”

But he said border fencing, which “we’re doing now,” is “not out of the question.”