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 DurbinTrump AG pick: I won't be 'bullied' by anyone, including the president Live coverage: Trump AG pick grilled on Mueller probe at confirmation hearing Senate Dems set to take aim at new Trump attorney general pick 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 TrumpTrump directed Cohen to lie to Congress about plans to build Trump Tower in Moscow during 2016 campaign: report DC train system losing 0k per day during government shutdown Senate Republicans eye rules change to speed Trump nominees MORE rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

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Durbin's comments were in reference to a group of GOP colleagues who met in Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamOvernight Defense: Trump unveils new missile defense plan | Dems express alarm | Shutdown hits Day 27 | Trump cancels Pelosi foreign trip | Senators offer bill to prevent NATO withdrawal McConnell blocks bill to reopen most of government On The Money: Shutdown Day 27 | Trump fires back at Pelosi by canceling her foreign travel | Dems blast 'petty' move | Trump also cancels delegation to Davos | House votes to disapprove of Trump lifting Russia sanction 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.”