Arizona GOP Senate candidate removes video of her defending DACA

Arizona GOP Senate candidate removes video of her defending DACA
© Greg Nash

The office of Rep. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by AT&T - Senate passes infrastructure bill, budget resolution; Cuomo resigns Schumer, Tim Scott lead as Senate fundraising pace heats up GOP group launches million ad campaign pressing Kelly on filibuster MORE (R-Ariz.) has removed from public view a YouTube video that showed the GOP congresswoman defending recipients of an Obama-era immigration program. 

The move, which was first reported by CNN, comes as McSally is running for the GOP nomination in a three-way Arizona Senate primary. 

Her two rivals in the primary race, former state Sen. Kelli Ward and former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, align themselves closely with President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump takes shot at new GOP candidate in Ohio over Cleveland nickname GOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default MORE's hard-line immigration rhetoric. 

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The video was included in a June 2017 press release from McSally's office that highlighted her questioning of then-Homeland Security Secretary John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE about the fate of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients.

“These children were brought here at no fault of their own. ... In Arizona, there are 57,000 of them," McSally told Kelly during the hearing.

"Uncertainty certainly brings fear to my constituents who are in this limbo. ... Can you assure my constituents who are in this place ... that they are going to be protected?” McSally continued. 

Kelly responded that the Department of Homeland Security is “not targeting DACA recipients.” 

McSally's office didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on the 2017 video. It's unclear if the video has only been removed from public viewing or if it's been deleted.

But the public removal of the video is the latest sign that McSally is shifting her immigration stance as she tries to defeat her conservative primary challengers. 

McSally signed on to legislation last year from Rep. Carlos CurbeloCarlos Luis CurbeloNation's fraught politics leads to fear, scars and exits Direct air capture is a crucial bipartisan climate policy Biden's corporate tax hike is bad for growth — try a carbon tax instead MORE (R-Fla.) that would have provided a path to legal status for immigrants brought into the country illegally as children. 

McSally touted Curbelo's bill during the June 2017 hearing with Kelly, saying it "is a good place to start and I really think we need to move that forward." 

But McSally removed herself as a co-sponsor of the legislation last month.

McSally formally launched her Senate bid in January and has come under fire from her opponents for her stance on immigration.

After former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) endorsed McSally last month, Ward knocked McSally, saying she "voted to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants, said a border wall will not work, ‘proudly’ voted for wasteful government spending, and refuses to say if she voted for President Trump."