South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham criticized the current state of the immigration debate taking place on Capitol Hill right now, calling it a “S” show. “This has turned into a “S” show, and we need to get back to being a great country where Democrats and Republicans will work together to do something that we should have done years ago,” Graham said.
Graham was speaking at a Homeland Security Oversight hearing when he summarized the current state of the immigration negotiations taking place between Republicans, Democrats and the White House this week. Graham advocated for getting the negotiations back on track by having all parties involved understand the limitations of their political positions.
“In phase one, to expect my friends on the other side to go comprehensive for us and DACA for them is not going to happen. I’m telling my friends on the other side, DACA and nothing else is not going to happen,” Graham said. He was referring to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program which protects from deportation individuals who were brought to this country illegally, but at a very young age. President Trump ended the program in September but gave Congress six months to find a permanent solution.
The “sweet spot,” as Graham called it, is finding a solution for DACA, making down payments on border security, most likely including a wall along the southern border, moving toward a merit based immigration system to be followed by a phase two of immigration reform. The second phase would include more comprehensive immigration reform measures such the legal status for the 11 million undocumented immigrants it’s believed currently live in the U.S.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was testifying in today’s hearing about the current state of the U.S. immigration system, as well as about controversial statements the president made in recent days about immigrants and their countries of origin. Republicans and Democrats are trying to find a solution to the DACA issue in order to keep the government funded past Friday.