Sen. Ed Markey (D., Mass.) said Wednesday that President Donald Trump is acting like Pontius Pilate after the administration's decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) executive order.
CNN host Chris Cuomo asked Markey about Tuesday's DACA announcement.
"Next topic: DACA. You are a veteran of the progress, or lack thereof, on this issue," Cuomo said. "What do you make of the president's move, which given in its best light is ‘the courts were going to move on this anyway, this is your job, you're supposed to make the law, not President Obama, I'm sending it back to you. Fix it.’"
"The president is acting like Pontious Pilate. He's just washing his hands of this mess knowing that these are all innocent young people who are caught in a crossfire," Markey said.
Pontius Pilate was the Roman prefect of Judea who oversaw the trial and crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Pilate washed his hands as a symbolic action that he was not responsible for Jesus' death, according to the Gospel of Matthew.
Markey said he is heartened by some of the words from Republicans, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, who have expressed support for the "dreamers" protected under DACA. He said, however, that Democrats would "absolutely not" be willing to make a deal with Republicans to pass DACA legislation in exchange for funding the construction of a wall on the U.S. southern border.