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Gallego says Kelly ‘ignorant’ on immigration, tough to deal with

(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

PHOENIX — U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Arizona) said Wednesday that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly was “ignorant” on immigration issues and is part of the reason a deal has yet to be made.

“Kelly has zero idea and concept of how [Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals], the ‘Dreamers’ and Dream Act work.” Gallego told NPR. (WARNING: LINK CONTAINS FOUL LANGUAGE)

We’ve seen this consistently in our meetings with him. He is clueless when it comes to immigration and immigration issues, which is part of the reason why we’re having a lot of these problems dealing with the White House.”

On Tuesday, Kelly told reporters that some immigrants may have been “too afraid” or “too lazy” to sign up for the Obama-era program that offered protection from deportation.

Gallego said that kind of language crossed a line, especially from someone who served in the military and should know better.

“You’re supposed to comport yourself in a manner that is professional and going and just slamming this group, this population of people — many of whom are veterans — again, it doesn’t bring a solution to the problem,” he said.

The congressman said a potential bipartisan deal would involve citizenship for “Dreamers” in exchange for increased border protections, but that would not include a wall.

“We’ve had a lot of conversations about what we’re willing to do and border security has always been a part of that,” he said. “What we’re not going to do is fund a stupid wall for the sake of fulfilling the [President Donalt Trump’s] ego and, specifically, his campaign promise.”

However, Gallego was unsure if that deal could be struck as the White House does not seem to know what it wanted.

“We cannot get them to pin down on a good, bipartisan deal because, once you introduce any idea to them, they take and then walk it back,” he said.

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