Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul said Democrats are playing hardball over illegal immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children because they believe they’ll get what they want, and are therefore unwilling to compromise.
Paul said on NBC’s “Meet The Press” Sunday that he’s been negotiating with Democrats on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program for months but has gotten no where. He said that’s because the minority party is haughtily unwilling to compromise.
He said he’s floated a deal where all the Dreamers could be admitted to the country as legal immigrants and count toward the number of immigrants allowed in during that year.
“The Democrats have sort of sniffed at this and said, no, we want just, you know, our Dreamer act without anything,” he said. “But now I think the president has changed the dynamic. … The Dreamers are going to get naturalized, but there is going to have to be something for border security and it has to be real and has to be significant.”
There are growing rumblings that the government may shut down next week if no spending agreement is reached.
Republicans want the deal to include funding for Trump’s wall on the southern border with Mexico, while Democrats are trying to get a fix for the DACA program included in the deal. Both parties have so far been unwilling to come to a compromise.
Paul said any immigration deal also has to have some sort of work requirements involved for newly arrived immigrants.
“In the old days, maybe 100 years ago, when my wife's grandmother came here, you had to work. If you didn't work, you were in fear of being sent home,” he said. “There needs to be a little bit of that tough love. So, we select out for people who have strong work ethic and I would say, by the way, most immigrants who come here have maybe better work ethic than some of those who are already here.”