On this week's broadcast of CNN's State of the Union Republican Sen. Jeff Flake (AZ) said he is opposed to rescinding DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. DACA, a 2012 executive order signed by President Obama that protects 'DREAMers,' or illegal immigrants that came to the U.S. as children, most likely with parents, from deportation. Flake said those affected by DACA should not pay for the sins of their parents.
"There are 800,000 DACA kids, kids who were brought across the border," Flake said Sunday on CNN. "The median age, I think, is 6 years old for those 800,000 when they came across the border. They should not be punished for the sins of their parents. That's just the basic principle that we ought to follow here."
Transcript, via CNN:
DANA BASH, CNN: I want to ask you about what is known as DACA, the Obama era program that shields young documented immigrants who were brought by the U.S. -- brought to the U.S., rather, by their parents, shields them from deportation.
You tweeted the following on Friday: "Congress needs to take immediate action to protect -- protect DACA kids."
But let me show you what President Trump promised during the campaign in your home state of Arizona.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT TRUMP: We will immediately terminate President Obama's two illegal executive amnesties in which he defied federal law and the Constitution to give amnesty to approximately five million illegal immigrants. Five million."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BASH: Senator, the president said he is going to make a decision soon.
Why should he go back on this promise, which was very popular among Republicans in places like your state?
SEN. JEFF FLAKE (R-AZ): Because it would be the right thing to do to go back on a promise.
Obviously, you hope that presidents keep some of their campaign promises and you hope that they ignore others. This is one that he ought to ignore.
There are 800,000 DACA kids, kids who were brought across the border. The median age, I think, is 6 years old for those 800,000 when they came across the border. They should not be punished for the sins of their parents. That's just the basic principle that we ought to follow here.
They are in -- either in school or have graduated and are working. Almost all of them, I think 90-some percent of them, are in the work force. To remove them from the country, to split up families like this, is just not the way we ought to go.
BASH: And, Senator, if the president says that he will extend the protections for dreamers, but do it in exchange for funding from Congress, from you for his border wall, would you go along with that compromise?
FLAKE: Obviously, all of us believe in border security. It depends on what he means by the wall. And we still really haven't seen what he means by the wall.
If that's a metaphor for border security, we can certainly support that. But if he's talking about a solitary brick-and-mortar 2,000-mile edifice on the border, then, no, nobody ought to support that.
So, we really haven't seen what the president is really talking about when he talks about the wall.