As he proposed a solution of his own, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told reporters Wednesday that he thought it was time for President Donald Trump to “get Democrats in the room” and work with them to change the immigration laws.
“Until you change these magnets, these laws, no wall is going to stop the flow — I think he got that,” Graham told reporters on Wednesday. “You are going to have to get Democrats in the room. And this is the time for the ‘Tuesday Trump’ to show up.'”
According to Bloomberg, “Tuesday Trump” refers to a time when Trump seemed ready to agree with Democrats on an immigration deal, which happened to fall on a Tuesday.
Graham said it was urgent for the president and Congress to agree on a solution to the current immigration situation in the country because “you literally are going to have multiple millions of people coming from Central America in the next two or three years unless you shut off the faucet.
“A wall will not fix this,” he added, arguing that “no matter how high the wall will be built, how many drones you have, no matter how many agents you have in the border, they’ll keep coming because they want to get caught.”
Graham introduced legislation Wednesday that would require Central Americans to apply for asylum in the U.S. from their own countries. This was the law under former President Barack Obama but was changed under the Trump administration.
It also calls for 500 additional immigration judges, for the amount of time that illegal immigrant families can be held together to increase from 20 days to 100 days, and would authorize the immigration services to return unaccompanied Central American minors to their countries of origin.
What did the Democrats say?
Despite Graham’s call for Trump to work with Democrats, Democrats in the Senate seemed skeptical of Graham’s legislation.
While Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said he supported debating immigration and seeing “what we can agree on,” he told ABC News that he did not think Graham’s proposed solution was the right one.
“Any immigration proposal that is harsh on children seeking asylum and does not address the root causes that are forcing them to flee their home countries will fail to stem the flow of migrants and is a nonstarter,” he said.