Politics

Ingraham Squares Off Against Rep. Scott Taylor on DACA

Congressman insists his support of legal status for children brought to U.S. illegally is not amnesty

“The Ingraham Angle” host Laura Ingraham and Rep. Scott Taylor (R-Va.) clashed Wednesday night over amnesty — about whether it should be granted and even how to define the word.

Ingraham noted that Taylor was one of 34 Republicans to sign a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) urging Congress to take up legislation to grant lawful status to people illegally brought to America as children by their parents.

“Why are you so obsessed with catering to the needs of illegal immigrants?” Ingraham asked Taylor, a former Navy SEAL.

But Taylor, who represents Virginia Beach and parts of Norfolk and Hampton, took issue with Ingraham’s characterization of his proposal as “amnesty” for illegal immigrants.

“Amnesty, by definition, as you very well know, is basically giving forgiveness for people who have offended,” he said, suggesting that description does not apply to people who were too young to make the choice to enter the country illegally.

Taylor said he and President Donald Trump are on the same page.

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“His position’s like mine on immigration. It’s the same,” he said.

Ingraham pointed out that Taylor sits atop “Kate’s List,” a roundup of Republican lawmakers that the Americans for Legal Immigration political action committee would like to target for defeat in GOP primaries.

Taylor said he opposes the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act and other expansive proposals to give no-strings-attached permanent legal residency and a path to citizenship to people covered by former President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

“That’s complete crap. I’m not for the DREAM Act. I’m not for that,” he said. “I am for a stand-alone thing that gets more security and gets more disincentives for illegal immigration in conjunction with dealing with this population.”

Taylor said he voted for Kate’s Law, a proposal named for San Francisco shooting victim Kate Steinle that would stiffen penalties for illegal immigrants who commit crimes. He also said he supports the $1.5 billion Trump has demanded as a down payment on a wall along the southwest border.

“For me, personally, I’m with the president,” he said. “I think what President Obama did was illegal. I think it’s under congressional purview. And with him pushing it down there, I agree with that 100 percent.”

Taylor said he supports the E-Verify system that lets businesses instantly check the work authorization of new hires and the Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act, which would sharply curtail the nation’s legal immigration system and favor migrants with skills and education.

Related: Now Pelosi Claims God Favors Dems on DACA

“I’m for all those things. I think we should move toward merit,” he said. “I think we should have a program for unaccompanied minors to get them back safely over to their parents. That should be in conjunction with dealing with this population.”

Taylor also defended comments he has made suggesting that Trump is divisive and that it hurt GOP prospects in last month’s gubernatorial election in Virginia.

“I do not think that Virginia is a perpetual blue state,” he said.

PoliZette senior writer Brendan Kirby can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter.

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