Sen. Jeff Flake says Congress should take action to protect so-called Dreamers, who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children and whose protective status could be at risk this week, as President Trump decides whether to end the amnesty program known as DACA.
Mr. Flake, Arizona Republican who has frequently criticized Mr. Trump, said ending the amnesty program would split up families, so that’s “just not the way we ought to go.”
“They should not be punished for the sins of their parents. That’s just the basic principle we should follow here,” Mr. Flake said told CNN’s “State of the Union.”
The Deferred Action for Child Arrivals is the 2012 deportation amnesty that gives young adult illegal immigrant “Dreamers” a temporary stay of deportation and issues them work permits, giving them a foothold in society.
The White House said Friday that Mr. Trump will make an announcement Tuesday on the Obama-era deportation amnesty that’s protecting some 800,000 illegal immigrants.
Mr. Trump is facing a Sept. 5 deadline for a decision on whether to phase out the 2012 amnesty or mount an uphill battle to defend it in court. Texas has said it will file a challenge unless the president agrees to end the program.
The White House didn’t say which way Mr. Trump is leaning, saying the decision is still being made. But earlier Mr. Trump had said he had a “great feeling for DACA.”
Mr. Flake said it is hard for him to weigh in on a floated compromise — asking Congress to approve border-security funding in exchange for extending DACA protections — because it is unclear what Mr. Trump would want exactly.
The senator said there could be an opening if that means a sophisticated system of monitoring for unlawful migrants along the southern border.
But a 2,000 mile-long, brick-and-mortar edifice?
“Nobody ought to support that,” Mr. Flake said.
“It depends on what he means by the wall,” Mr. Flake said. “We still really haven’t seen what he means by the wall.”