House Speaker Paul Ryan spent Thursday night answering questions on CNN, where he did things like “mug awkwardly when told by a cancer survivor that Obamacare had saved his life,” and “dab like all the cool kids are doing.”
But perhaps the most interesting exchange of the evening came when Ryan was forced to confront an undocumented immigrant and explain why he had no intention of kicking them out of the country…despite promises by President-elect Donald Trump to do just that.
Flanked by her daughter, Destiny, Angelica Villalobos explained that she had been brought to the United States at age 11, and was the beneficiary of President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which grants work permits and deportation deferments to undocumented immigrants who entered the country as children.
“Do you think that I should be deported?” she asked Ryan, visibly holding back tears.
Ryan, shaking his head, began his response by praising Villalobos, and insisting she would not be taken from her family.
“I can see that you love your daughter and you’re a nice person who has a great future ahead of you,” he replied, adding, “I hope your future’s here.”
— CNN (@CNN) January 13, 2017
Ryan continued, insisting President-elect Trump’s vows to crack down on undocumented immigration—plans which Trump himself promised would involve a “deportation force“—were intended to focus on violent offenders first and foremost.
“I will even repeat the sentiment that our incoming president says,” Ryan explained. “That’s the the problem he wants to focus on.”
When pressed by moderator Jake Tapper over Trump’s “deportation force” comments, Ryan insisted, “I’m here to tell you, in Congress, it’s not happening.” Something tells me Trump may have something to say about that.
In fact, immigration experts agree that Trump’s deportation plans are wildly unfeasible. Speaking with Politico last month, former Acting Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement John Sandweg stated bluntly: “It’s impossible, period.”