GOP Rep.: Undocumented Teens ‘Had A Say’ In Coming To U.S.

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Criticizing President Obama’s decision to grant immunity and temporary legal status to some young undocumented immigrants, Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX) told CNN’s Soledad O’Brien Monday that undocumented teens “had a say” in their family’s decision to travel to the U.S. illegally.

“Well, you are also talking about people that came over at 16 years of age,” Farenthold said. “At that point you had a say in it and that looks more like amnesty.”

“You think a 16-year-old whose parents are coming across the border has a say in whether or not they’re just going to stay behind in their country?” Soledad asked.

“They’re certainly in a position to have a conversation with their parents about it,” Farenthold said.“A 16-year-old is in a position to have a conversation with their parents about coming across the border, do you think?” said Soledad, skeptically.

“Believe me, my 16-year-old daughter has given me input on everything — pretty much everything the family wants to do,” said the Texas Republican.

President Obama on Friday explained that his decision was based on young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. without legal status.

“These are young people who study in our schools; they play in our neighborhoods; they’re friends with our kids; they pledge allegiance to our flag,” Obama said at a White House press conference on Friday. “They are Americans in their hearts, in their minds, in every single way but one: on paper.”

“They were brought to this country by their parents — sometimes even as infants — and often have no idea that they’re undocumented until they apply for a job or a driver’s license, or a college scholarship,” he said.

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Igor Bobic is the assistant editor of Talking Points Memo, helping oversee the site's coverage of politics and policy in Washington. While originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Igor feels best at home on the beaches of Southern California. He can be reached at igor@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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