It’s been a tough battle to get both sides of the aisle to agree on immigration fixes to the U.S.-Mexico border. However, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is revealing a glimmer of hope that might bring about a bipartisan agreement.
Graham — who has a strong push to fix U.S. asylum laws to curb illegal immigration — told Fox News that there is a serious discussion in the works with one Democratic lawmaker: Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.).
The Republican lawmaker laid out what it’ll take to “find a common ground” on immigration:
“So, Senator Durbin asked me not to mark my bill up which just deals with asylum and the Flores decision. He says, ‘I want to see if we can find a common ground here. What about money for Central America?’ I said ‘listen, I’m willing to help the people in Central America turn on economic development money after you turn off the flow.'”
When pressed further if any other Democratic lawmakers were willing to work on this immigration deal, Graham responded that he’s unsure.
Watch Graham’s interview below:
During the interview, the South Carolina senator touched on the law of not being able to detain a Central American minor child for longer than 20 days, which is “not enough to process the case. So we turn the entire family loose into the country.”
“I know this — that if you don’t change the asylum laws and you don’t change the Flores decision, they’ll keep coming forever,” he added.
As IJR Red previously reported, Graham, who is the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, held a hearing with acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan on Tuesday, where the DHS chief revealed that 90% of asylum seekers don’t show for their court date, which could take up to a few years, and they disappear into the U.S.
Additionally, McAleenan revealed that 1.5% of migrants who come to the U.S-Mexico border claiming to be family units aren’t actually related and migrants from Central America are using children as “a passport.”
“We have identified now more than 4,800 family units that were fraudulent as they presented at the border,” McAleenan said. “[…] We routinely hear from migrants and see advertisements on the radio and local news and social media and by fliers and business cards advising that if you bring a child you will not be deported.”
Graham is looking to combat this migration situation by changing U.S. asylum laws through his plan to move asylum claims outside of the U.S., extend the detention period for minors, and add more judges, as IJR Red previously dove into.