Speaking to the media at Thursday’s press conference, President Donald Trump made some comments about Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy that completely contradict the hard-on-illegal-immigration message that helped win him the election.
When asked what would become of DACA (which grants amnesty to illegal immigrants who entered the country as minors) under his administration, Trump said that this is a “very, very difficult subject” for him, adding that he wants to “deal with DACA with heart.”
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) February 16, 2017
“I love kids,” he said. “I have kids and grandkids. And I find it very, very hard doing what the law says exactly to do.”
Trump went on to clarify that he wasn’t “talking about new laws,” but the “existing” immigration laws established by Congress.
Trump says most DACA beneficiaries are "incredible kids" and hints that there will be some kind of amnesty for them.
— David Freddoso (@freddoso) February 16, 2017
Wow, Trump essentially just made the case for amnesty with that DACA answer.
— Ryan Lizza (@RyanLizza) February 16, 2017
This will undoubtedly come as (very, very bad) news to Americans who voted for Trump with the hope that he would fight to end amnesty-granting programs like DACA.
Just last month, Trump vowed to “end” DACA as one of his first actions as president.
Trump to @SimonRadio1776 on DACA (1/20/16): It’ll be gone very quickly. One of the 1st things I’ll do is end that particular executive order
— Anthony Terrell (@AnthonyNBCNews) February 16, 2017
If this all sounds familiar, it’s because Trump has made worrisome statements regarding illegal immigration in the past. Back in August, he suggested that non-violent illegal immigrants should have able to “pay back-taxes” in lieu of facing deportation. And if that sounds familiar, it’s because it is the same amnesty policy established in the notorious Gang of Eight bill. Further, Trump’s former campaign rival, Jeb Bush, was hotly criticized by conservatives for adopting the very position the president is now asserting.
The Trump administration has yet to officially comment on what will ultimately become of DACA. But if Thursday’s press conference was any indication, Pres. Trump is going to have some serious explaining to do.
Carly Hoilman is a Correspondent for Conservative Review. You can follow her on Twitter @CarlyHoilman.