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Lindsey Graham Endorses Trump Plan to Deport Dreamers and Long Settled Immigrants En Masse

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Washington, DC — Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is the latest formerly pro-immigrant Republican to endorse the full scope of Donald Trump’s mass deportation pledge. During a Fox interview, Senator Graham said: “The only policy change that will work is to have mass deportations. Because people will stop coming when they see people leaving.”

Curiously, Senator Graham remains a co-sponsor of the bipartisan Dream Act and has been one of the leading GOP voices for legal status. Yet as Trump continues to admit, the mass purge and deportations would be unsparing and focus not just on the newer asylum seekers and migrants that have been flashpoints in recent years, but also on Dreamers and the long-settled undocumented population – the 11 million – that Senator Graham has supported citizenship for. As Trump recently noted: “I’m gonna do the big deportation. The biggest ever … you’ll get rid of 10 really bad ones. And one really beautiful mother … it’s always gonna be tough, it’s not gonna be easy … the way you get rid of them is the local police.”  

Senator Graham’s devolution mirrors that of Senator Marco Rubio, who in May also embraced Trump’s unsparing mass deportation pledge after having expressed past opposition to the concept. Similarly, Senator Graham has in the past said, “We’re not going to deport 11 million people,” and said of mass deportation, “I certainly wouldn’t vote for it. You’re not going to get 11 million people out of this country. That’s just not practical, that’s going to kill the Republican Party. It’s self-deportation on steroids.” Now, Rubio describes these same individuals with the white nationalist language of an “invasion” and calls for deporting 30 million people. 

According to Vanessa Cárdenas, Executive Director of America’s Voice:

“Like Marco Rubio – another previous supporter of immigrants – Lindsey Graham is embracing incalculable damage to the nation by supporting Trump’s mass deportation plans. Trump’s deportation force would go after Dreamers, TPS holders, health care and agriculture workers, to name a few. 80% of the people that Trump wants to target are embedded into the social fabric of our nation as they have lived in the country since at least 2010. Instead of coming to the table to negotiate in good faith and on real bipartisan solutions to fix our broken immigration system, GOP lawmakers are angling for favor with Donald Trump. It is deeply disappointing and heartbreaking that Senators Graham and Rubio are now targeting those they used to fight for. Ahead of the DACA anniversary week, it’s a reminder of the descent of the GOP and a reminder of what’s at stake this year.”

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