“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 about an ad posted Saturday night to Trump’s campaign website and YouTube page. “It doesn’t work.”
The ad was posted Saturday night to Trump’s campaign website and YouTube page as Republicans and Democrats try to reach an agreement that will end the government shutdown that started at the stroke of midnight Saturday.
Immigration issues have been core to that debate, including the president’s proposed border wall and Democrats’ call for 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, number one, 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.”
As government shutdown begins, so does finger-pointing
Inside the Trump-Schumer talks leading up to the government shutdown