On Friday, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) spoke with a Fox News reporter in his office at the Capitol.
During the exchange between Graham and the Fox News reporter, the senator made several critical points regarding the battle over border wall funding that’s taking place between President Trump and Democratic leadership.
First, Graham stated that this may be the best chance for DACA and TPS recipients, and that the ball is now in the Democrats’ court:
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. 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. 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.
Graham then slammed anyone who claims that the border is secure, given the constant illegal crossings (citing several recent and shocking examples), adding that if the Democratic leadership doesn’t take this opportunity to make a deal, the president will secure the border using “emergency” procedures:
My belief is this needs to come to an end, that every commander in chief has an obligation to defend the country. 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.
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. 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.
Lastly, Graham noted that just six years ago, the Democrats voted to provide substantially more money for border security and fencing than is currently being asked of them by President Trump:
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.
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. 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 also admonished Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to do more than simply repeat “No”:
To Nancy Pelosi, all you’ve done is say “No.” Every time he’s put an idea on the table, every time he’s moved, you just tell him “No.” All I can say is, to my Democratic senators who took the floor yesterday, eight of you promised to work with this president to do more on wall security, border funding, barrier funding. If you can push your colleagues to where you’re at, we’ll get a deal good for the country.
Check out the video here: