DACA recipient: Kelly sounded like a bully with ‘lazy’ comment

An immigration advocate and recipient of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program blasted White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE's comments on immigrants who had not applied for the program, saying that the retired Marine general sounded like "a bully."

"I heard a bully," Greisa Martínez Rosas said on CNN's "New Day."

"Someone that is picking on people that are afraid, that are scared, that are younger than him and smaller than him, and using the White House as a bully pulpit and to hurt people."

Martínez Rosas's comments came a day after Kelly suggested that some DACA-eligible immigrants were simply "too lazy" or "too afraid" to sign up for the program, which offers a temporary reprieve from deportation to certain immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.


Kelly also said that he did not expect President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden on Trump's refusal to commit to peaceful transfer of power: 'What country are we in?' Romney: 'Unthinkable and unacceptable' to not commit to peaceful transition of power Two Louisville police officers shot amid Breonna Taylor grand jury protests MORE to extend a March 5 deadline that he gave Congress to take legislative action on DACA, which he rescinded in September.

Martínez Rosas said that Kelly's comments were accurate insofar as many of those immigrants — known as "Dreamers" — were afraid of the possibility of being deported. But she said the costs associated with the program were also a factor.

DACA recipients must pay a roughly $500 application fee every two years to renew their status.

She also said that the fear of having immigration agents come to their homes made many Dreamers who are eligible for DACA status wary of renewing their status.

"The costs are too high and we don't want to put our families at risk of [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] agents coming to our home addresses," she said.

The effort to enshrine DACA's protections into law has been at the center of a bitter fight in Congress that led to a three-day government shutdown last month when Democrats declined to back a short-term spending bill that did not address the issue.

Lawmakers are again facing a deadline to extend government funding.