Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) indicated on Wednesday that in his 30 years as a congressman, he never saw anyone as willing to enforce immigration laws as President Donald Trump.
“I haven’t seen any other president in 30 years who was willing to enforce immigration laws as this president is,” Smith said.
He made those comments while giving an interview with Mark Krikorian, the executive director for the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS).
Krikorian asked Smith whether Trump had a positive impact on the immigration issue. Trump, as Krikorian indicated, has caught a lot of flak for the way he’s dealt with the issue.
But for Smith, the answer was “easy.” “I think he’s been doing lots of things right on the issue of immigration reform,” he said.
He pointed to how Trump refused to admit immigrants who would use welfare.
The media, Smith argued, contributed to the negative perceptions of Trump’s immigration agenda and almost never covered the issue accurately.
Watch the full interview below:
As IJR has previously noted, Trump’s administration carried out a long list of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) operations, resulting in thousands of arrests.
Trump has been unable to get his immigration agenda through Congress, however, where Congressional Democrats refused to provide funding for his southern border wall.
Smith predicted that if Democrats won a majority in the House of Representatives in the 2018 midterms, they would make amnesty their top priority, but wouldn’t be “irrational” enough to defund ICE.
“I don’t think that they are that irrational. I just don’t believe it,” he said before citing how the American people felt about ICE and immigration enforcement.
The administration has defended the agency amid attacks from Democratic politicians who called for the federal government to abolish the agency.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated for clarity.