White House: Flake-Graham-Durbin DACA Bill ‘Giant Step In Wrong Direction’

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Saagar Enjeti White House Correspondent
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A recent immigration proposal put forth by Senators Jeff Flake, Lindsey Graham, and Dick Durbin fails to meet any of President Trump’s requirements for a DACA deal, White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley said in a Monday statement.

“The Flake-Graham-Durbin proposal is not a serious solution to protect the American people but a giant step in the wrong direction,” Gidley declared, noting that “their proposal provides a path to citizenship or legalization to at least 8 million unlawful immigrants: ‘dreamers’, their siblings and their parents.”

The deputy press secretary added that “their plan totally fails to secure the border, and includes no legal authorities to stop illegal immigration which ensures a massive wave of new illegal immigration and new chain migration. The bill also maintains the visa lottery as another backdoor amnesty and chain migration program. The Flake-Graham-Durbin proposal embodies every reason Americans do not trust Washington. It puts people who are in this country unlawfully ahead of our own American citizens.”

The “Flake-Graham-Durbin” bill or “Gang of Six” is joined in sponsorship by Senators Cory Gardner, Michael Bennet, and Bob Menendez and was presented on Jan 11. The bill is currently the only bi-partisan DACA proposal with bi-partisan support.

The White House has declared consistently that any bill which codifies DACA’s protections for illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children must be accompanied by approximately $20 billion in funding for a border wall, an end to chain migration and an end to the diversity visa lottery program.

Trump ended the Obama-era executive action for its likely unconstitutionality in September telling Congress it had six months to codify the program into law before protections expired. Obama’s DACA program issued work permits to illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children and granted them certain protections from deportation. There are nearly 800,000 DACA recipients in the U.S.

Gidley’s statement follows a Monday appearance on CNN where he blasted Graham and Durbin for touting their bill as a realistic answer to the White House’s demands saying it “did not do anything to address chain migration. In fact, it blew it up, and made it bigger. It gave amnesty and then it didn’t touch 10% of what DHS demanded this country needs.”

He continued, “they want open borders. They want amnesty.”

A recent Harvard-Harris Poll found that 65 percent of voters overall agreed with Trump’s demands for any DACA fix with even broader approval of each individual demand.

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Saagar Enjeti