Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) knocked the White House on Wednesday over sending mixed signals on immigration and told his colleagues to “stop the s-show and grow up.”
“What I would like to do is to ask the Congress to stop the s-show and grow up. Act consistent with the greatness of this country and find a way to work together,” Graham said from the Senate floor, arguing a deal could be reached on immigration and defense spending if both sides would work together.
He added, pivoting to the White House, that the administration needs to figure out its immigration position because “I can’t read your mind” and called for Trump to be a “reliable partner” on finding an immigration fix.
“So to the president, what I saw Tuesday was a man that understood what America was all about. … What I find today is complete chaos,” he said.
Graham is part of a bipartisan group of senators who have hashed out a bipartisan deal on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and border security.
But Trump has lambasted the agreement as “horrible” for border security.
He reportedly said immigrants from several developing nations came from “shithole countries” and asked why the United States wasn’t admitting more people from countries such as Norway during a meeting on Thursday with Graham, Durbin and several conservative lawmakers
The comments were a swift turnaround from an earlier White House meeting last week, where he urged the DACA deal to be a “bill of love” and signaled he would sign anything Congress sent him.
Graham appeared to take a veiled swipe at his comments from the Senate floor, saying the country needs people “not just from Norway but from all over the world.”
“I want to do a deal and deal with the reality that these people are here and have been here working for a long time and America always needs good people, not just from Norway but from all over the world,” he said.
Conservative lawmakers have lined up against the Senate bill, and are pushing alternative proposals that would include tougher enforcement and border measures in line with the White House’s wish list.
Trump took a hard line on immigration during his campaign, saying that “druggies, drug dealers, rapists and killers are coming across the southern border” and calling for a wall that Mexico would pay for.
But Graham argued on Wednesday that most immigrants are in the country “trying to make a better life.”
“Some crooks, some rapists, some drug dealers, [but] most are good people looking to improve their lot in life,” he said.//thehill.com