PHOENIX — U.S. Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) said Thursday that he believed the House would be able to pass immigration reform in the next six months, but did not have the same optimism toward the Senate.
“I do believe that we’ll come up with something to address it in six months in the House,” he told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Bruce St. James and Pamela Hughes, echoing the words of his colleague, Republican U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar.
“I have no hope or thought about the Senate because the rules there make it almost impossible to get anything to the floor.”
President Donald Trump removed the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program on Tuesday, saying that Congress had six months to solve the problem. Franks said he was glad to see the issue rightfully returned to the legislative body and that the president meant business.
“I think we should try to fix it,” he said. “The reason that there’s been so much reticence on the part of a lot of people – and I suppose that includes me – is searching for the wisdom to know how to do it.”
Franks was unsure what kind of plan would come out of the House. He said he opposed the Dream Act, but could see it used as a foundation for a new law.
“I do have some fundamental issues with the Dream Act, but I do think … there are some components of it that would be kind of the building blocks for whatever we might come up with,” he said.
The congressman said he would like to create on path for citizenship, whether people were living in the United States or not. He said that could simplify the process.
“I couldn’t support creating a special path to citizenship because someone brought us over before we were of age because I think that undermines the broader construct of the law,” he said.
“I’m convinced there should be one basic path to citizenship,” he continued, adding that he would not mind certain caveats — such as military service — to be included.
Franks said he doesn’t feel children who were brought into the U.S. should be punished, but it was important to maintain the law.
“Children that are brought to this country before they are of age and not with their consent or even their knowledge or understanding, shouldn’t be singled out for some kind of punishment,” he said.
“At the same time, when someone else does something illegally, it doesn’t automatically cause a child to have a special privilege either.”