White House Chief of Staff John Kelly told reporters Tuesday that President Trump is not expected to delay the March 5 deadline for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program because he doesn't believe the Constitution gives him that authority.
Even if their protections expire, however, DACA recipients "are not a priority for deportation," according to Kelly.
He reportedly made some other colorful remarks.
Some "Dreamers," men and women who were brought to the U.S. illegally when they were minors, are not signed up for DACA because they are "too afraid" or "too lazy," Kelly appears to have suggested. He used the phrase, "too lazy to get off their asses," according to Washington Post reporter Erica Werner.
John Kelly describing part of Trump immigration plan: pic.twitter.com/AG6dV7JmsN— Erica Werner (@ericawerner) February 6, 2018
Social media users shared their outrage, calling Kelly a "bad person" "a complete disgrace," and a "racist."
If there was any lingering doubt about John Kelly's racism... https://t.co/CB5Xm7tGdl— Lisa Brenner (@LisaBrenner2) February 6, 2018
Democrats have been adamant about protecting DACA and even forced a government shutdown over it. Trump, for his part, offered a generous compromise that offered a path to citizenship for 1.8 million Dreamers, even some who had not signed up for DACA.
Trump has warned Democrats, however, that there will be no deal on DACA without funding for the border wall.
“Right now the champion of all people who are DACA is Donald Trump — but you would never write that,” Kelly told the press.