Graham: Border compromise 'might save the day in the Senate'

Ranking Member of the House Committee on Armed Services Rep. Adam Smith D-Wash. questions Defense Department officials during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. on Wednesday

Trump's outgoing chief of staff John Kelly, who has been largely uninvolved in the shutdown negotiations, said in an interview published Sunday that the wall Trump is hammering Democrats over is not actually a concrete wall and hasn't been since the early days of the administration.

Graham is proposing to help two groups of immigrants to continue living in the U.S. with permission from the federal government: about 700,000 young "Dreamer" immigrants brought illegally as children and about 400,000 people receiving temporary protected status because they are from countries struggling with natural disasters or armed conflicts.

Privately, White House officials have long said Kelly exacerbated Trump's disdain for Sessions - with whom the president was angry for recusing himself from overseeing the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign - because it redirected the president from his frustration with Nielsen.

A former Marine general who led the military command responsible for Latin America, Kelly was Trump's Homeland Security secretary before becoming White House chief of staff in July a year ago.

They were also notable given Trump's insistence for most of his term that the border would have a wall, not the "steel slat barrier" he has pivoted toward in the past few weeks. Kelly denies he was ever asked to do anything illegal, but says he always made sure Trump had access to numerous points of view before making a decision.

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, said congressional Democrats are "certainly prepared to provide additional funding for enhanced fencing, technology, drones, satellites, lighting, censors, cellphone towers and the things the experts have clearly indicated would improve our border security" but held firm against a physical wall.

She added that polling has suggested a majority of Americans don't support Trump's demand for funding for the wall. Lindsey Graham told reporters that President Donald Trump is open to a compromise with Democrats that includes $5 billion for border security "in areas that make sense" in exchange for legislative changes to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program and immigrants with temporary protected status, or TPS.

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Graham said that while the president had not committed to the deal proposal, it was the "outline of a potential breakthrough".

"There may be a wall in some places, there may be steel slats, there may be technological enhancements", Conway told "Fox News Sunday".

"And what Donald Trump and the Republicans want to do is waste US$5 billion in taxpayer money on an ineffective medieval border wall that is a fifth-century solution to a 21st century problem". He's in Washington ready to negotiate.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer told Vice President Mike Pence that it wasn't acceptable, nor was it guaranteed that Mr Trump, under intense pressure from his conservative base to fulfill his signature campaign promise, would settle for that amount. "He surprised us." It was then up to Kirstjen Nielsen, the Homeland Security secretary who at first denied the existence of such a poicy, to take it on and make it work.

Conway claimed Sunday that "the president has already compromised" by dropping his request for the wall from $US25 billion, and she called on Democrats to return to the negotiating table. He's in the - he's in the White House.

The House and Senate gaveled in and out of session in under five minutes on Thursday. "Now is a good time to fold in some way ... because once Democrats take control of the House, he is going to have a very losing hand". She is also due to visit Yuma, Arizona, the Department of Homeland Security said in a statement on Saturday.

The shutdown is forcing hundreds of thousands of federal workers and contractors to stay home or work without pay.

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