On Tuesday, a Trump administration official from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would not or could not offer details on the desires of President Donald Trump with respect to a legislative measure to afford some form of lawful status to foreigners illegally in the country currently targeted by the Obama administration's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
Aliens targeted by DACA are referred to as DREAMers as per DACA’s overlap in its targeted cohort of aliens with the failed and subsequently reproposed Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act.
DREAMers should be offered permanent residency and a “pathway to citizenship,” said Michael Dougherty, the assistant secretary for border, immigration, and trade policy at DHS.
Dougherty offered no specifics on the Trump administration's preferred framework for legalizing DREAMers when asked to do so by Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA). Partial transcript below.
KENNEDY: What specifically does the Trump administration think we should do with respect to the so-called DREAMers?
DOUGHERTY: Let me answer the question this way.
KENNEDY: How about just answer it?
DOUGHERTY: Yes, okay. These individuals lack formal status in the United States.
KENNEDY: Should they be allowed to stay?
DOUGHERTY: They would probably be permitted, under a rational bill, these individuals would be allowed to become lawful permanent residents with a pathway to citizenship.
KENNEDY: So the president believes they should be allowed to stay?
DOUGHERTY: As part of a, the secretary, excuse me; the president, yes, would like to work with Congress to get a solution.
KENNEDY: Under what conditions does the president think they should be allowed to stay? The administration?
DOUGHERTY: I don’t have those details for you, sir.
Kennedy described his inquiry of Dougherty as an attempt to determine Trump’s desires in order to avoid a presidential veto in the event of congressional passage of legislation extending some form of lawful status.
Watch Kennedy’s questions for Dougherty below.
Watch the entire Senate Judiciary Committee's hearing on the recission of DACA here.
In September, Trump issued a series of tweets signaling support for the passage of legislation resembling DACA:
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