Tags: Trump Administration | jeff flake | trump | immigration | policy

Sen. Jeff Flake: Cutting Immigrant Numbers Not in the 'Right Direction'

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By    |   Thursday, 03 Aug 2017 08:39 AM

Sen. Jeff Flake, who has been slammed by the White House for criticizing President Donald Trump, said Thursday that there have been many instances in which he's agreed with the commander in chief, but he does disagree with him on cutting the number of immigrants coming into the United States in half.

"Sometimes I agree with the president; sometimes I don't," the Arizona Republican told CNN's ""New Day" program. "There's always back and forth."

Flake, the author of "Conscience of a Conservative," said Thursday his book is about the state of conservatism, but that it does include discussion of Trump, but also of conservatism before the president took office.

On Thursday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said she believes Flake would "serve his constituents much better if he was less focused on writing a book and attacking the president and passing legislation."

Flake's stand on immigration, though, disagrees with Trump's, as he thinks a move to cut half of the legal immigrants coming into the country "just isn't in the right direction for our economy."

"I grew up on a ranch in Snowflake, Arizona," said Flake. "I grew up working next to migrant labor. I always felt they were making America better, and we are better off because of their hard work. So I've been very supportive of immigration reform that first secures the border, and if we have interior enforcement."

He said he also believes that there should be a "humane and generous mechanism" for people who have crossed the nation's border illegally to support their families, but who have not committed other criminal acts.

Immigrants also allow the nation to have the "robust temporary worker programs to allow us to have the labor we need to benefit our economy," said Flake. "I very much agree that we are far better off because of migrant labor."

However, Flake said that he has disagreed with other presidents in the past, but did not come under attack.

"I should note when I came to Congress in 2001, I opposed President George W. Bush's first initiative, No Child Left Behind," said Flake. "The prescription drug benefit I opposed. I still get along with President Bush and we still work together."

Flake said he believes Trump's appointment of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch was "great," and that the president has done "good things on regulatory policy."

Trump has blamed Congress for not getting healthcare repeal legislation passed, and Flake agreed the "big burden" is on the House and Senate.

"A lot of that blame is certainly appropriate," said Flake. "It's a lot easier when you work with the administration on something and when you have a good working relationship.

"That hasn't been quite as close or as good as we'd like it to be, but it is the Congress's responsibility. It's the president's responsibility to sign legislation or reject it."

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Sen. Jeff Flake, who has been slammed by the White House for criticizing President Donald Trump, said Thursday that there have been many instances in which he's agreed with the commander in chief, but he does disagree with him on cutting the number of immigrants...
jeff flake, trump, immigration, policy
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2017-39-03
Thursday, 03 Aug 2017 08:39 AM
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