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 DurbinSenate Dems petition Saudi king to release dissidents, US citizen GOP moves to rein in president's emergency powers Senate votes to confirm Neomi Rao to appeals court 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 TrumpClinton and Ocasio-Cortez joke about Kushner's alleged use of WhatsApp Missouri Gov. declares state of emergency amid severe flooding Swalwell on Hicks testimony: 'She's going to have to tell us who she lied for' in Trump admin MORE rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.


Durbin's comments were in reference to a group of GOP colleagues who met in Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump's intraparty feuds divide Republicans Trump's attacks on McCain exacerbate tensions with Senate GOP Republicans defend McCain amid Trump attacks 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.”