Durbin rips Trump for ‘hardline anti-immigrant demands’ in Dreamer negotiations

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Sen. Dick Durbin D-Ill. / Rich Hein/Sun-Times

WASHINGTON – Sen. Dick Durbin D-Ill., a key member of a bi-partisan group of Senators working on an immigration deal to save the “Dreamers” – youths in the U.S. illegally through no fault of their own – ripped President Donald Trump on Friday for putting on the table a “wish-list of hardline anti-immigrant” demands.

Durbin, who has been working to give “Dreamers” legal status in the U.S. for years, said in a statement came in the wake of the Trump White House seeking $18 billion in funding for a southern border wall Trump said during the campaign that Mexico would pay for.

“President Trump has said he may need a good government shutdown to get his wall. With this demand, he seems to be heading in that direction,” Durbin said.

“I’ve been clear from the beginning that Senate Democrats will consider reasonable border security measures in order to pass the Dream Act into law. The Trump Administration set this crisis in motion when it ended DACA four months ago. It’s outrageous that the White House would undercut months of bipartisan efforts by again trying to put its entire wish-list of hardline anti-immigrant bills—plus an additional $18 billion in wall funding—on the backs of these young people.

“Bipartisan negotiations continue in good faith among senators who understand what is at stake, and I will continue my efforts to reach a bipartisan agreement.”

The Trump White House has been demanding the wall as part of a deal to legalize the status of the “Dreamers.” Republicans and Democrats in Congress are open to spending more on border security; they are not sold on the need for an expensive wall.

Trump rescinded protections for Dreamers former President Barack Obama enacted, with the Obama –era policies off the books in March if Congress does not act.

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