Key Immigration Hawk: Trump Admin Is Following Obama’s Position On Amnesty

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Alex Pfeiffer White House Correspondent
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Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), said in a radio interview Tuesday that the Trump White House is following the “precise” view of the Obama administration regarding amnesty.

The Trump administration has accepted and renewed Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) applications for at least an estimated 98,000 illegal immigrants. DACA was started by former President Barack Obama in 2012 and is for illegal immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as minors.

Around 788,000 illegal immigrants have been approved for the program, which doesn’t given legal status, but is instead prosecutorial discretion. Beneficiaries also given work permits.

President Trump said on the campaign trail that he would “immediately terminate” DACA, and Stein said Trump’s actions so far represent a “complete flip flop.”

Stein was speaking to Daily Caller editor-in-chief Vince Coglianese on WMAL’s Mornings on the Mall, and pointed to comments made last week by Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly. Kelly said in a hearing held by the House Homeland Security Committee that he will continue to honor DACA and it is up to Congress “to solve this problem.”

Stein said that this statement was Kelly endorsing “legislative amnesty.”

TheDC asked Department of Homeland Security spokesman David Lapan whether Kelly supports legalization.

“Secretary Kelly and DHS will faithfully execute the immigration laws of the United States. As he has said many times, if members of Congress are not satisfied with our immigration laws, they can change them,” Lapan replied. “Until then, Secretary Kelly will enforce the immigration laws on the books. He will continue to urge Congress to resolve long-standing immigration issues through legislation.”

DACA has nothing to do with immigration law, and Republican Iowa Rep. Steve King previously told TheDC, “It is impossible to return the respect of the rule of law in regards with immigration” by keeping DACA. (RELATED: Steve King: ‘Defenders Of The Constitution’ May Need To Sue Trump Over Amnesty)

Stein went on to say in the interview that Kelly’s request for immigration legislation is the “precise Obama administration position from 2008 to 2012.” Former President Obama repeatedly said during this time that he could not suspend deportations due to the law.

President Trump said in an April interview that DACA recipients, who are referred to as DREAMers by activists, should “rest easy.” The White House has not clarified whether Trump supports giving them a path to citizenship.