Graham on DACA Negotiations: I Support Pathway to Citizenship but ‘Don’t Want Bad Hombres’

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Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) on Tuesday had colorful comments for President Donald Trump and his congressional colleagues during a rare televised meeting at the White House on negotiations over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Before Graham spoke, Trump said that the U.S. has a flawed immigration system but has faith that Congress can reach a bipartisan compromise.

"I don't think I see a better chance of getting it done than I do right now, because of you," Graham told Trump.

The senator added that "the people of South Carolina want results."

"How can I get elected?" Graham asked. "I have been for a pathway to citizenship for 11 million people. I have no animosity toward them. I don't want crooks. I don't want bad hombres."

Graham said that what he does want is a merit-based immigration system and a way to avoid immigration discussions like this one every 20 years.

Graham warned that right-wing radio would not let Republicans down easily for a bad immigration deal, but thanked Democrats for showing up to the meeting.

"Thanks for coming. The ‘resist' movement hates this guy. They don't want him to be successful at all," he said, referring to Trump.

Trump said he would sign a bill to extend DACA protections for young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally in exchange for increased border security measures. The president also indicated that, after such a deal, he would be open to comprehensive immigration reform.

"When you talk about comprehensive immigration reform, which is where I would like to get to eventually," Trump said, turning to Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D., Ill.). "If we do the right bill here, we are not very far away, we've done most of it. You want to know the truth, Dick, if we do this properly, DACA, you're not so far away from comprehensive immigration reform. And if you want to take it that further step, I'll take the heat. I don't care."

Conor Beck

Conor Beck   Email Conor | Full Bio | RSS
Conor Beck is a Media Analyst for the WFB. He's previously written for The College Fix, Life News, and was a Student Free Press Association Fellow for The Weekly Standard. He graduated from Rice University in 2017.

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