Nikki Haley feels for young people who are caught in a legal limbo after being brought into the U.S. illegally as children.
At the same time, Haley said the U.S. is “a country of laws.”
Haley made the comments in an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, arguing President Donald Trump and members of Congress are taking the right track in searching for a legislative solution for so-called “Dreamers.”
“We all feel for those who came here or were brought here without their willingness or without their understanding that this was going to happen,” Haley said. “But I also think we have to remember the United States is a country of laws, and we have to always follow those laws.”
Trump has pledged to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program started by former President Barack Obama that gives such people protection from deportation.
But Trump is also working with the Democratic leaders in Congress, Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, to find a deal that would allow Dreamers to stay.
“The president is trying to work with Congress on what is a very difficult situation,” she said. “There is no easy answer when it comes to things like this, and.. I think in the end there will be a resolution on this that they come together on as they go forward.”
Haley, the former South Carolina governor, is herself the daughter of immigrants from India and grew up in one of the few Indian-American families in Bamberg, S.C.
Haley also used her appearance to defend tightening sanctions on North Korea, arguing the nuclear-armed nation “will be destroyed” if the United States ultimately has to take military action.
“If North Korea keeps on with this reckless behavior, if the United States has to defend itself or defend its allies in any way, North Korea will be destroyed,” she said. “We all know that and none of us want that.”
At Haley’s insistence, the UN Security Council recently approved a new round of sanctions in response to North Korea’s latest nuclear test.
Referencing the U.S. defense secretary, Haley said, “If that doesn’t work, General Mattis will take care of it.”