- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 28, 2018

Sen. Lindsey Graham said Sunday that the $25 billion for a U.S.-Mexico border wall and other infrastructure in President Trump’s immigration proposal can be spent wisely, and that he doesn’t envision constructing a bona fide 1,900-mile wall.

Mr. Graham said lawmakers included some $42 billion for border security in a 2013 immigration bill the U.S. Senate passed, so the $25 billion for a border wall and infrastructure in Mr. Trump’s proposal isn’t an “outrageous” number.

“You don’t need $25 billion for a wall. You need wall systems, you need roads … you need to fix old fencing,” the South Carolina Republican said on ABC’s “This Week.” “So we’re not going to build a 1,900-mile wall, but $25 billion can be spent wisely.”

“We’re not going to build a wall in places it shouldn’t go,” he said.

Mr. Graham also said the president’s proposal to provide 1.8 million illegal immigrant “Dreamers” a path to citizenship is “a huge step in the right direction.”

“The bottom line is this is a credible offer by the president on a pathway to citizenship,” he said.

Mr. Graham and Sen. Richard J. Durbin, Illinois Democrat, had been pushing a plan that would grant some 3 million people legal status.

Mr. Graham said Mr. Trump is trying to “thread a needle,” as he’s been getting pushback from both the right and the left on the issue.

“He deserves to have [an] escrow account to draw upon to secure the wall system — not just a wall,” he said.

Mr. Graham did say newly proposed rules for family-based migration and measures cutting legal immigration in half would be “problematic” areas.

“We’re going to get there,” he said. “Obama couldn’t do it. Bush couldn’t do it. Trump can do it, and I hope we’ll work with him to get it done.”

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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