Democratic lawmaker: “I’ll take a bucket, take bricks, and I’ll start building it myself.”
In an exasperated statement to reporters Sunday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) identified the root of the problem in stalled negotiations between the White House and the Senate: the White House itself is divided on immigration, with hardliners dominating the discussion.
On one side, there are Trump’s most conservative advisers — from White House Chief of Staff Gen. John Kelly and Senior Policy Adviser Stephen Miller, to immigration hawks on Capitol Hill — who have the president’s ear. They reportedly scrapped a Democratic offer for $20 billion worth of border wall funding and are holding out for a conservative overhaul of the legal immigration system.
“Every time we have a proposal, it is yanked back by staff members,” Graham, one of the key Republicans in immigration talks, told reporters Sunday afternoon. “As long as Steven Miller is in charge of negotiating immigration we are going nowhere. He’s been an outlier for years.”
Senator Graham: “As long as Steven Miller is in charge of negotiating immigration we are going no where. He’s been an outlier for years.” pic.twitter.com/6aR42Jeiu7
— Alan He (@alanhe) January 21, 2018
On the other side of the White House drama is a president whose signature campaign promise was to build a “great, great wall” across the southern border and who has also said he “loves DREAMers”, the 700,000 young unauthorized immigrants who would lose legal protections if a deal is not reached. A package that combines the two has appealed to Trump, but not always. He wavers, switching positions seemingly on a whim.
While Graham said Trump himself has been open to proposals from Senate Democrats and moderate Republicans, this hardline faction has had the final word over Read More Here