White House Chief of Staff John Kelly had some harsh words for eligible DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients while discussing the administration's immigration plan Tuesday on Capitol Hill.
As first reported by The Washington Post, Kelly said that President Trump's endorsement of a plan last month that would include a pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million young people brought to the United States illegally by their parents was “stunning and no one expected it.”
That 1.8 million figure includes the nearly 700,000 DREAMers protected under DACA as well as the young people who would otherwise qualify but did not apply.
For those individuals, Kelly was unflinchingly hostile.
“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,” he said. “The difference between [690,000] 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.”
The fee to apply for and renew DACA is almost $500, a steep cost for an individual who might be already attending university. As Congress attempts to find a solution, there are already DREAMers losing status and more who might every day.
Kelly also said he doubted President Trump would extend a March 5 deadline for getting a deal on DACA done.