GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham rips Trump administration for 'poisoning the well' on immigration reform

Senator Lindsey Graham.
(Image credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

On Thursday, the Department of Homeland Security released a statement opposing a bipartisan immigration deal hammered out by senators Wednesday evening. The deal, which would carve out money for border security and create a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children, was co-sponsored by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) — who took issue with the DHS's public opposition.

The DHS is "acting like a political organization intent on poisoning the well" with their rhetoric, Graham said in his own statement. He added that the agency seemed "intent on acting less like a partner and more like an adversary" when it comes to striking a bipartisan immigration deal, and he said that President Trump had been let down by DHS staffers who had "politicized" the agency.

In their statement, the DHS had said that the bipartisan bill "ignores the lesson of 9/11 and significantly increases the risk of crime and terrorism." The statement also asserted that the proposal would "effectively make the [U.S.] a Sanctuary Nation where ignoring the rule of law is encouraged."

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Trump instead favors an immigration bill proposed by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), which goes beyond the bipartisan deal by reducing legal immigration and ending the visa lottery. The bill has virtually no chance to pass the Senate, however. When asked Wednesday about the possibility of Trump specifically opposing the bipartisan deal, Graham said, "Then we won't go very far."

Read his full statement below. Kelly O'Meara Morales

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