New Trump campaign ad calling Democrats 'complicit' in murder by undocumented immigrants won't work: Senator

Sen. Durbin said "bipartisan conversations" to reopen government are ongoing.

ByABC News
January 21, 2018, 3:23 PM

— -- An explosive new ad by the Trump campaign implying that Democrats would be "complicit" in any murder committed by undocumented immigrants "doesn't work," a leading Democratic senator said.

"The American people are not going to accept the premise that immigrants are criminals and that we ought to deport the 'Dreamers,'" Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on "This Week" Sunday about an ad posted Saturday night to Trump's campaign website and YouTube page.

"It doesn't work," Durbin said.

The ad was posted as Republicans and Democrats try to reach an agreement that will end the government shutdown that started at the stroke of midnight Saturday.

Immigration issues have been core to that debate, including the president's proposed border wall and Democrats' call for protections for so-called 'Dreamers,' the approximately 800,000 young immigrants who were brought illegally to the U.S. as children.

"What it comes down to is we need a reasonable approach [to immigration] that is mindful of our national security, number one, but embraces a basic value in America," Durbin said. "We are a diverse nation, a nation of immigrants, and we're proud of it."

Stephanopoulos asked about the deal that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer reportedly offered to the president Friday -- full funding of the border wall in exchange for protecting 'Dreamers' from deportation and making no changes to some other programs that enable legal immigration into the country.

"It is true that Chuck Schumer made what I considered to be a bold and important concession and said, 'Yes, we'll go forward with the wall as long as we do this in a responsible fashion,'" Durbin responded.

Stephanopoulos asked if it was correct that the border wall would cost $20 billion.

"I'm not going to quote numbers because I don't think that's my place ... but I can tell you it was a substantial commitment to the president. The president embraced it. And Chuck came back to the Hill."

But, Durbin added, "Two hours later, a call from the White House says, 'The deal is off. We're not going to stand by this at all.'"

The senator added, "How can you negotiate with the president under those circumstances where he agrees face-to-face to move forward with a certain path and then within two hours calls back and pulls the plug?"

Asked if Congress will reach a deal in time for the government to reopen Monday, Durbin said he couldn't answer but added, "There are bipartisan conversations going on right now."

In a separate appearance on "This Week" Sunday, North Carolina Republican Congressman Mark Meadows disputed the notion that the president had reached an agreement with Schumer.

Meadows, who chairs the House Freedom Caucus, addressed reports that he had convinced Trump to reject the proposed deal.

“The president is the president of the United States,” the congressman said. “He makes his own decisions.”

“Any suggestion that I'm going to convince the president to go one way or another greatly exaggerates my influence," Meadows said. "And I will say this, there was no deal. There is no deal.”

Meadows also took issue with reports about how the border wall would be funded. "You were talking about Schumer offering $20 billion over seven years -- he can't do that," Meadows said.

Meadows continued, “You can't obligate a future Congress. So even if [Schumer] made that offer, he can't even deliver on the very offer that he's putting forth. So when we look at this, let's call it what it is. This is a tactic.”