Republican Congressman Steve King says he had a “healthy conversation” with President Trump last night about the Obama-era “DACA” program. The program has granted temporary legal status to young adults brought into the country illegally when they were children.
“President Trump said on the day that he announced his campaign for the presidency which was June 16th of 2015 that he would end DACA on his first day,” King says. “We expected that would happen on January 20th…so this concerns me a great deal.”
King says he’s upset that the “inertia” of the program continues. King is urging the president to resist any kind of deal with congress that would give new legal status to DACA recipients if congress approves enhanced border security and provides money to hire dozens more agents, prosecutors and judges to handle immigration cases.
“I believe that the president is negotiating against himself,” King says. “He served up DACA and said: “Here it is, congress. You take DACA and solve that problem. Meanwhile, I’m not going to sign a DACA bill…unless I get some of these things or maybe even many of these things.'”
King has long been a critic of what he calls “amnesty” for anyone who came into the country illegally. King is also urging Trump to do something about granting automatic U.S. citizenship to babies born on American soil to foreign mothers.
“We can’t be handing out citizenship like candy to the new mothers who are moving into America temporarily to have their babies, take their birth certificate and their baby and go back to China or wherever they come from,” King says. “There is an entire industry created over birthright citizenship.”
King made his comments in a video statement posted online and he ended by speaking directly to Trump.
“You’re a president that’s on the path of being able to keep every single campaign promise. You’ve kept many of them. It’s a long list and those of us who have supported are exhilarated at the progress that’s been made, but right now there are only two of them out there that aren’t actually being kept. One of them is to end and repeal ObamaCare and that’s not your fault, at least not in a big way, because congress couldn’t get this done so far,” King said. “But when it comes to DACA, you can do that with a stroke of a pen.”
In a written statement, King used the word “constructive” to describe his phone conversation with Trump.
King is in the middle of his eighth term in the U.S. House. One Republican and four Democrats are campaigning for the chance to challenge his bid for reelection in 2018.