02:30 - Source: CNN
Trump's twists and turns on DACA

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Graham has been a favorite golf partner of the President's recently

The Republican is part of a Senate working group on immigration

Washington CNN —  

Sen. Lindsey Graham is keeping President Donald Trump in the loop on negotiations about a possible deal on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, the South Carolina Republican said Monday.

“Talked to him a long time last night,” Graham told CNN while leaving an immigration working group meeting on the Hill Monday night. “He’s encouraging: ‘Keep talking.’ “

Graham has been working with Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, for months to try to pass a bill to save DACA, a program that protects young undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children from deportation and that Trump has opted to end.

In recent weeks, negotiations have intensified, with Graham and Durbin meeting with four other Republicans and another Democrat as part of the core working group that has been meeting in Durbin’s office regularly when the Senate is in town.

Those talks are progressing, those leaving the meeting said, but Republicans are insistent that any deal won’t happen until January, despite Democrats’ hope to have something by the end of the year.

“We’re starting to bridge the gap,” said Republican Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina. “We make a little bit of progress just about every day.”

Throughout, Graham said the President was encouraging his efforts.

“I think he wants a deal, and we’ll see what happens,” Graham said.

The defense hawk and longtime supporter of immigration reform has been a favorite golf partner of the President’s in recent weeks, spending multiple weekends on the course with him.