Tags: Donald Trump | Immigration | Trump Administration | lindsey graham | donald trump | right decision | DACA

Lindsey Graham: Trump Made 'Right Decision' on DACA

(NBC's "Today")

By    |   Wednesday, 06 September 2017 08:16 AM

President Donald Trump "made the right decision" to give Congress six months to find a permanent solution to deal with "Dreamers" affected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, and that would be the "compassionate thing to do," Sen. Lindsey Graham said Wednesday.

"The compassionate thing to do is to give the kids legal status, let them become citizens," the South Carolina Republican told NBC's "Today" show. "They're all nonfelons. They have no other country to go to. They came here as young children, they lived their life in America. They would add value to our country. That's the right thing to do in terms of the kids."

Ten states' attorneys general have filed lawsuits suggesting DACA is unconstitutional, as it was enacted by former President Barack Obama in 2012, said Graham, and they were going to win. However, he said he does not agree with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who argued while announcing the president's decision that Dreamers are taking jobs from Americans.

"Jeff Sessions is wrong," Graham said. "These kids are not taking jobs from American citizens. They're part of our country. They're fully employed, for the most part. They're in school. They will add great value. The president's right to want to have a heart for these kids."

Graham continued that he agrees with another former presidential candidate, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, who has said lawmakers need to define what an acceptable DREAM Act would look like. Most Americans want Dreamers, or people brought into the United States as children, to remain in the United States, he continued, but also want the border secured.

The initial DREAM Act was introduced in 2001, and Congress members, during the Obama presidency and that of his predecessor, George W. Bush, failed to pass the measure either as a standalone measure or as part of comprehensive immigration legislation.

However, Graham said Wednesday he believes there may be a way to reach a deal between the DREAM Act and border security, "but the president has to lead the effort in the House."

Graham said he doesn't think Mexico will ever pay for a wall at the border, as Trump claimed during his campaign, and further, "nobody wants to build a wall."

"I would look at [Chief of Staff] John Kelly," said Graham. "He was the former department of homeland security. He's an expert on border security. I would like to see the president come up with a border security plan that makes sense."

He continued that many Republicans believe if Dreamers are legalized, that incentivizes other people to illegally bring their children into the United States, while the issue really is the underlying problem of illegal immigration.

Meanwhile, Graham said on Fox News' "Fox & Friends" program that he does believe Dreamers can remain, through the DREAM Act or something like it.

"They have to learn the language," he said. "They have to pass a criminal background check. All of them came as young kids, as minors. With no other place to go. If you legalize them and you don't start securing your border, you have another wave of illegal immigration."

Graham said he does believe there are other Republicans, like him, who will be fair to Dreamers, as "they add value to our country," but the immigration system, starting with the border, must be fixed.

"When Republicans say we should not legalize people until we start addressing the fundamentals of a broken immigration system, they are not wrong," said Graham.


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President Donald Trump "made the right decision" to give Congress six months to find a permanent solution to deal with "dreamers" affected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, and that would be the "compassionate thing to do," Sen. Lindsey Graham said...
lindsey graham, donald trump, right decision, DACA
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2017-16-06
Wednesday, 06 September 2017 08:16 AM
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