Senator Lindsey Graham says he may have the outline of a deal that could end the stalemate in Washington and reopen the government.
Graham, along with Senator Dick Durbin, introduced legislation that would legalize immigrants brought to the U.S. as children for three years in return for funding the border wall.
“We need to start talking again,” the Republican told CNN’s State of the Union. “To my Democratic friends: There will never be a deal without wall funding.”
He said in return, immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children should be eligible for legal status and authorization to work for three years under a bill he’s put forward with Sen. Richard Durbin, Illinois Democrat.
Persons living in the U.S. under Temporary Protected Status — for instance, persons fleeing civil war or hurricane wreckage — could also receive temporary, renewable status to stay in the country under the senator’s deal.
Mr. Graham said Democrats have supported border fencing in the past, so it should be an easy lift.
“The bottom line is everything I just outlined has been offered by each party before,” he said.
It should be obvious by now that the shutdown fight is no longer about wall funding or any tangible issue. This is Democrats asserting control, knowing that the clock is ticking on Republican control of the House and that they can do pretty much whatever they want after January 3.
Besides, Democrats will never vote to fund a border wall. They don’t care what they might have supported in the past. The wall is “racist,” “cruel,” and “immoral.” After spending the last few months making comments like that about the wall — that their rabid, frothing base adamantly opposed — does Graham really believe any Democrat would vote for it?
“They want Trump to lose more than they want the country to win, I fear,” Mr. Graham said. “At the end of the day, there’s a deal to be had. But everyone is changing their position here, and most Americans are pretty tired of it.”