Virginia Republican tells Fox News' Laura Ingraham that his colleagues on other side of aisle want a campaign issue, not a solution

by Brendan Kirby | Updated 21 Jun 2018 at 8:03 AM

Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.) said Wednesday that the Democrats’ reaction to President Donald Trump’s order ending family separation shows they are disingenuous about fixing the nation’s ailing immigration system.

Democrats who called the separation of illegal immigrant parents and children inhumane immediately attacked the president’s executive order because it calls for keeping families together while prosecutors pursue charges against the parents.

Brat said Democrats would not work with Trump earlier this year when he offered amnesty for 1.8 million illegal immigrants brought to America as children — and are not working with a handful of Republicans who maneuvered to force a vote on an amnesty plan over the objections of House Republican leaders.

Democrats also rejected proposals by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rep. Mark Meadows (R-S.C.) to end the separation of families at the border.

“The net conclusion is, what do they want? They want an issue in November,” Brat said on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle.” “They don’t really want to help these kids. They don’t want to unify families; we’ve got bills to do that. They don’t want a rational immigration policy.”

Texas-based immigration lawyer Francisco Hernandez said on the show that human smuggling has become big business for organized crime in Central America.

"It is a lot more profitable and a lot less dangerous for the traffickers than drugs. It costs about $10,000 per person to be smuggled from Central America … By the time they reach the border, it's the point of no return," he said. "They're not going back. The problem here is the administration tried to send a message, to tell people, 'Don't come, because we're going to separate you from your families, from your children.' But the people were already three to six months into their trek."

Hernandez said the United States should give renewable work permits to foreigners so they do not have to bring their families.

"Both sides, both parties have blood on their hands," he said.

Brat rejected that, noting that Democrats would not join Republican senators who tried to craft a compromise that would codify the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for illegal immigrants brought to America as children.

"That's baloney. Six months ago in January … the Senate Democrats shut down government over this issue, right?" he said. "They said, 'Give us 700,000 DACA.' And we said, 'OK, we'll compromise. We'll meet you halfway.' And they said, 'No.'"

Brat predicted neither of the two immigration proposals coming up for a vote Thursday would pass the House of Representatives. He criticized compromise legislation pushed by House GOP leaders that would give amnesty to DACA recipients in exchange for border wall funding and certain reforms to the legal immigration system.

"It doesn't have the four pillars that Trump wanted," he said. "It doesn't end chain migration. It ends two of the five categories. It doesn't really get rid of the lottery system. There's no E-Verify. It doesn't take care of sanctuary cities."