(WASHINGTON) — An explosive new ad by the Trump campaign implying that Democrats would be “complicit” in any murder committed by undocumented immigrants “doesn’t work,” a leading Democratic senator said.
“The American people are not going to accept the premise that immigrants are criminals and that we ought to deport the ‘Dreamers,'” Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on This Week Sunday. “It doesn’t work.”
Immigration issues have been core to the debate in Washington, D.C., as Democrats and Republicans seek to reach an agreement to end the government shutdown. Key topics include President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall and protections for so-called “Dreamers,” the approximately 800,000 young immigrants who came illegally to the U.S. as children.
“What it comes down to, is we need a reasonable approach [to immigration] that is mindful of our national security — No. 1 — but embraces a basic value in America,” Durbin said. “We are a diverse nation, a nation of immigrants, and we’re proud of it.”
Stephanopoulos asked about the deal that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer reportedly offered to the president Friday: full funding of the border wall in exchange for protecting “Dreamers” from deportation and making no changes in some other programs that enable legal immigration into the country.
“It is true that Chuck Schumer made what I considered to be a bold and important concession, and said, ‘Yes, we’ll go forward with the wall as long as we do this in a responsible fashion,'” Durbin responded.
Stephanopoulos asked if it was correct that the border wall would cost $20 billion.
“I’m not going to quote numbers because I don’t think that’s my place, but I can tell you it was a substantial commitment to the president. The president embraced it. And Chuck came back to the Hill.”
But, Durbin added, “Two hours later, a call from the White House says, ‘The deal is off. We’re not going to stand by this at all.'”
The senator added, “How can you negotiate with the president under those circumstances where he agrees face-to-face to move forward with a certain path and then within two hours calls back and pulls the plug?”
Asked if Congress will reach a deal in time for the government to reopen Monday, the Illinois Democrat said, “There are bipartisan conversations going on right now.”
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