Speaker of the House Paul Ryan told an illegal immigrant Thursday night that she shouldn’t “worry” about getting deported this year.
A 32-year old illegal immigrant living in Oklahoma named Angelica asked Ryan during a CNN town hall if he thinks she should be deported. Angelica was brought to the United States when she was 11, and thus is protected under President Barack Obama’s executive amnesty for illegal immigrants brought to the United States as minors. The woman has an American-born daughter and wondered if someone in her situation should be deported.
“No,” Ryan responded. The House Speaker said that President-elect Donald Trump wants to focus on deporting violent criminals and securing the border.
Ryan said once these two things are accomplished, “all people in the country will be in a much better position to fix these thornier, bigger problems.” He added, “But if you’re worried about some deportation force knocking on your door this year, don’t worry about that.”
The House speaker said that the country needs to follow the rule of law, but also find a “humane solution” for people like Angelica.
President-elect Trump’s written plan for immigration and public statements are somewhat opposed to Ryan’s comments. He has called for deporting all the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the country, but a plan on Trump’s campaign website more specifically mentions “move criminal aliens out day one.”
The plan, however, does mention ending Obama’s “two illegal executive amnesties,” one of which Angelica receives, and that “all immigration laws will be enforced — we will triple the number of ICE agents.”
However, Trump did recently say that “we’re going to work something out with Dreamers,” the nickname for illegal immigrants who were brought as children.
During the town hall CNN’s Jake Tapper brought up Trump’s call for a deportation force on the campaign trail, and Ryan nervously laughed and said, “that’s not happening.”