Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly engaged with House Democrats on Friday in a closed-doors meeting, in which he asked lawmakers multiple times to "give me a break."
"I'm the best thing that happened to DACA . . . it is still on the books," Kelly said, according to Politico, referring to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy that began under former President Barack Obama, which protects immigrants who came to the country as minors.
"If you don't like the law we are enforcing, and I don't like many of them, please, please, please change the law," he added, according to Politico's sources in the room.
Despite opposition from Democrats, Kelly reportedly stood by his proposal to separate parents from children at the border and putting them into foster care.
"Everything will remain on the table," he said.
When asked about Republican Congressman Steve King's recent comment, "we can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies," Kelly said, "I don't know what he said but I know there was a controversy."
"Certainly not my position and not how we're going about" immigration enforcement in his department. "I can guarantee you we're not going after kids that are full DACA qualified."
Senate Democrats have been unable to secure a closed-door meeting with Kelly despite agreeing to meet with party members in the House. Kelly's acting deputy assistant secretary David Lapan denied that Kelly was purposefully denying them a meeting.
"There has been no refusal to meet," Lapan told Politico in an e-mail. "The secretary looks forward to meeting with House members tomorrow and senators once the meetings are scheduled."
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