While Democrats viewed President Donald Trump’s agreement to a deal reopening the shuttered portion of the federal government for three weeks and conservatives panned it as a “cave” to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), POTUS ally Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) noted that what happens next for a key immigrant demographic is now in the hands of the Donkey Party.
In an interview with Fox News following POTUS Trump’s Friday announcement, Graham said that whether or not a long-term and permanent legislative solution for DACA and TPS recipients was now up to Democrats.
“The best way to get this thing to conclusion is opening up the government. The bottom line is the TPS recipients who have been here for decades as a result of natural disasters, wars, they’re going to begin to lose their legal status this year,” he said. “You have DACA folks who are in sort of legal limbo. The president is willing to give 1.1 million people a better life if he can get a secure border.
“To my Democratic friends, you have voted in the past for wall funding greater than the president’s requested,” Graham continued. “This is the first time in 12 years I’ve seen a deal where you secure your border and give a better life to the DACA/TPS population.
“If the Democrats do not work with us, the biggest losers, in my view, are gonna be the TPS/DACA recipients because this president will secure our border through executive action,” he said, referring to Trump’s pledge Friday to use an emergency declaration in order to secure the funds to build his promised border wall.
He also slammed Democrats and their supporters in the media who claim that the president is exaggerating the threat along the U.S.-Mexico border and that it is largely secure as is.
“My belief is this needs to come to an end, that every commander-in-chief has an obligation to defend the country,” said Graham. “How can you look at that border and believe it’s not porous?
“You had a 9-month pregnant woman climb over the wall; [a] couple of days ago, you had a hundred people come over the wall using a ladder. So, I think the president is hell-bent on securing our border. He would love to do it through the legislative process. He’s willing to give a better life to the TPS/DACA recipients, put humanitarian assistance on the table,” he continued.
He next made a prediction.
“Here’s what I think. Come February the 15th, if the Democrats still say, ‘Go to hell on the wall,’ ‘You get a dollar, that’s it,’ they basically tell Trump, ‘I’m not going to do with you what I did with Bush and Obama,’ then I hope he will go the emergency route,” the South Carolina Republican and head of the Senate Judiciary Committee said. “We don’t need to shut the government down; we need to secure the border, and to me, the last best chance to do this win-win is between now and February the 15th.”
Graham also reminded viewers that Democrats have voted for physical border security in the past.
“To my Democratic colleagues, I’ve been working with you for a decade. You voted in 2013 for $42 billion to secure our border, 700 miles of fencing. You’ve done this in the past. This president is willing to give a better life to the DACA/TPS population … if he can get something in return, securing our border,” he said.
“As to shutting the government down again, that makes no sense to me. What I want to do is shut down the crime coming across the border. The real danger to this country is a broken border,” he added.
“To my Democratic colleagues, this is the best chance I’ve seen since 2006 to get a deal that is a win-win for all of us. Take advantage of it. If you don’t, by February the 15th, this president has one choice left, to do it by himself through executive action. That’s the last option, but it may be the only option if Democrats won’t work with us,” he said, adding that all Pelosi has told the president is “No” when it comes to compromise offers.
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