Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), when asked about a lawsuit filed by 20 states against the Trump administration over the Flores agreement on “Fox & Friends” Tuesday, Aug. 27, said it’s because “they hate” the president.
The Trump administration announced on Aug. 21 that it would move to rescind the Flores agreement in order to allow for migrant families to be detained longer than 20 days as their cases are being considered.
Two days later, a coalition of 20 states led by California and Massachusetts announced a lawsuit against the Trump administration’s proposed rule, calling the new rule “inhumane” or “another cruel attack on children.”
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan, at CBP Press Conference on Aug. 21, said that the Flores agreement has encouraged illegals and represents a loophole in the immigration system.
Graham had once criticized the Flores rule as “a sick system,” declaring that 30 percent of those who cross the border with children are “fake families.” He said that loopholes are used to let the same children come back over and over with different adults each time.
“I have been working on immigration for 10 years. I’m willing to deal with a DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) population … I’m willing to spend money in Central America to make life better. I’ve done everything I know to do … I can’t get one Democrat to agree with me that you should apply for asylum in Central America, or Mexico, not the United States,” Graham told co-host Steve Doocy.
The senator blamed Democrats for deteriorating the illegal immigration crisis at the U.S. border and for refusing to work with him.
“These states are supporting the magnets of illegal immigration … I can’t get one Democrats to agree to allow children to be held with their families humanely for 40, 50 or 100 days so we can process their claims,” he said.
“They literally want them released in the United States. … They will not work with me. They will not work with President Trump. I am dumbfounded as to why we can’t find [a] compromise.” Graham added.
More than 860,000 people have been encountered at the southern border this budget year, a decade high. Of that, 432,838 were in families, compared to last year there were only 107,212 in families, according to the The Associated Press.
McAleenan said about 6,000 migrants fraudulently presented themselves as families in the past fiscal year, adding “no child should be a pawn in a scheme to manipulate our immigration system.”
He said the new rule will replace the Flores agreement while retaining most of its terms and establishing “a high national standard for care of children and families in custody.”