(CNSNews.com) – White House Chief of Staff John Kelly sparked controversy Tuesday with his comments about illegal immigrants who were eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, also known as Dreamers.
According to audio posted by the Washington Post, Kelly said, “There are 690,000 official DACA registrants and the president sent over what amounts to be two and a half times that number, to 1.8 million.”
Kelly tried to explain the difference between the two numbers.
“The difference between 690 and 1.8 million were the people that some would say were too afraid to sign up, others would say were too lazy to get off their asses, but they didn’t sign up,” Kelly added.
When asked Tuesday whether it was the position of the White House that Dreams are lazy, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, “The position of the White House is that we want to fix a problem that was created by the previous administration.
“We have a system that is not lawful. We have a system that has a lot of legal loopholes and has a very large national security concern. We want to address it completely. We want to solve the problem on DACA, and we want to solve the border security issue. We want to end chain migration. We want to end the visa lottery system,” Sanders said.
The press secretary said if anyone’s lazy it would be the Democrats who aren’t showing up to work and making a deal on DACA.
“What we don’t want to do is continue kicking the can down the road. We’re focused on actually getting a solution, and frankly, I think if anybody’s lazy, it’s probably Democrats who aren’t showing up to work and aren’t getting to the table to make a deal on this,” Sanders said.
“Can I get back to the chief of staff saying that some of the Dreamers may just have been too lazy to get off their asses? Just on the face of it, isn’t that just a wildly offensive comment about these undocumented immigrants who are waiting for some kind of solution to come out of this city?” a reporter asked.
Sanders said President Donald Trump is the only one that has actually offered a solution on DACA.
“Look, the only person that’s actually offered a solution is this administration. The president has been a champion of giving 1.8 million DACA recipients and DACA-eligible people a pathway to citizenship, and he’s laid out a plan and a solution that actually addresses both Republicans’ and Democrats’ concerns. I think it’s hard to argue with that,” she said.
When asked if Kelly’s comment was offensive, Sanders said, “I think that’s something you would have to decide for yourself.”