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Graham: Immigration Reform Debate 'Has Turned Into a S-Show'

17 January 2018

Graham blamed somebody in the White House who gave the president "really bad advice" for Trump's about-face.

Trump tweeted that Durbin, the second-highest Democrat in the Senate, misrepresented what he had said about African nations and Haiti and, in the process, undermined the trust needed to make an immigration reform deal.

While lawmakers from both sides of the aisle say they want to protect the childhood arrivals, Trump has also pushed them to reform other areas of the immigration system, including border security, "chain" migration and the visa lottery. "I don't know where that guy went". "I don't [know] either and I'm going to find out".

Following Senate Democrats' near end to discussions with President Trump's administration on the issue of immigration, Cotton says some Democrats are now threatening to shut down the federal government unless almost 800,000 illegal aliens shielded from deportation by the President Obama-created Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program are given amnesty.

Graham said he would continue to press for a deal based on what had been tentatively agreed the meeting tomorrow.

"Tuesday we had a president I was proud to golf with and call my friend", Graham said. "I want him back".

Sens. Lindsey Graham and Dick Durbin, who presented a compromise immigration plan to Trump, called out the President's staff, saying they are blocking a deal.

Cotton, however, warned that if Democrats were to shut down the government over amnesty, it could have a detrimental impact on their re-election efforts in states like Wisconsin, North Dakota, and Montana. "I don't think that will work out very well for them, so I suspect they will not".

Just when you thought the lawmakers involved in that "shithole countries" meeting at the White House on Thursday hadn't covered themselves in enough shame, here comes a new development. But when Graham and Durbin arrived two hours later at the White House to follow up, Trump was accompanied by several other Republican lawmakers and immigration hardliners, and dismissed their deal entirely. "It was not viewed as a serious proposal because it did so little to address the immigration issues that the president has been vocal about", Republican Rep. Mark Meadows, who heads the conservative House Freedom Caucus, told The Washington Post.

At the Judiciary Committee hearing, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen repeated that she didn't hear the word "shithole" being used, but remembers an "impassioned" conversation with "tough language".

"I'm not going to give the 11 million legal status and hope that one day y'all will deal with us on border and immigration", Graham said, offering an example of leverage. "Our leaders need to do things that bring Americans together, not pit them against each other".