The future of the illegal immigrants known as Dreamers involves 12 million people — and isn’t an issue that will be solved quickly or easily, Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., said Sunday.
In an interview on ABC News’ “This Week,” Lankford reacted to President Donald Trump’s deal to end the partial government shutdown by offering a three-year extension of DACA in exchange for $5.7 billion in border wall funding.
“A Dreamer conversation is not about 1 million or 2 million, but about 12 million people,” Lankford asserted, adding “that’s a longer debate and not something we can solve quickly.”
“We can solve what we have common ground on and get the government back open so people are getting checks again,” he continued. “It's absurd to keep this dragging on this long.”
He also said the Trump deal is an opening to have a bipartisan debate.
“The problem we have had for the past 30 days is everybody has been staring at everyone playing politics instead of policy,” he said, adding: “Put out a straw man proposal. Get something out there the president can say, ‘I can support this’ — and has elements from both sides. Put it on the table, then open it up for debate.”
At this point, however, Lankford said Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., don’t trust each other on a way to end the shutdown.
“Neither one is trusting the other one. … he responded, ‘I don't trust you right now’ and she doesn't trust him. So let's do what we can, get it in writing. Get it passed and get it resolved.”
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