SAN ANTONIO – The Trump Administration announced Tuesday it would end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program implemented by executive order under the Obama Administration.
DACA has protected nearly 800,000 young immigrants from deportation and has allowed them to work legally in the U.S.
Many politicians released statements regarding the announcement on Tuesday.
Attorney General Ken Paxton
“I applaud President Trump for phasing out DACA. As the Texas-led coalition explained in our June letter, the Obama-era program went far beyond the executive branch’s legitimate authority,” Attorney General Paxton said. “Had former President Obama’s unilateral order on DACA been left intact, it would have set a dangerous precedent by giving the executive branch sweeping authority to bypass Congress and change immigration laws. If ever there were a violation of the President’s duty to ‘take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed,’ DACA was it: President Obama unilaterally conferred lawful presence and work authorization, and then President Obama used that lawful-presence dispensation to unilaterally confer U.S. citizenship.”
Rep. Joaquin Castro
“The end of DACA is a tragedy for our nation. Nearly 800,000 young people who love the United States are now thrust into limbo. Families will be torn apart, businesses will lose valued employees, and fear will grow in communities across the country. The Trump Administration’s decision betrays the trust Dreamers put in the government, and it contradicts our nation’s core principles. Now it’s up to Congress to do the right thing and pass legislation that will protect DACA recipients. Republicans must make a choice: will they stand with President Trump and help carry out his mass deportation plan, or will they act on behalf of the majority of Americans who support DACA? This decision is not just about policy; it defines our morality. There has never been a more urgent need for Congress to act and take a stand for Dreamers.”
Rep. Henry Cuellar
“In my home state of Texas over 120,640 young people, who have known no other country, have benefited from the DACA program. Of those, over 104,959 are working and contributing over $6 billion annually to the GDP. Ending this program, as the Trump Administration has announced today, is not only a failure on humanitarian grounds, but also economically. I will continue to fight to keep families together and to keep our American values strong while opposing the building of walls. We need a bipartisan comprehensive immigration approach to solve the challenges at our border and ensure that DREAMers have a place in the nation that they love. I call on my colleagues in Congress to act now and to stand up to protect families and the rights of everyone in our country.”
Rep. Lloyd Doggett
“President Trump lacked the courage to face the cameras and personally answer questions about his latest flip flop on the fate of 800,000 young people. He dispatched his Administration’s leading anti-immigrant advocate, Jeff Sessions in an attempt to shift responsibility to a Congress that has long failed to address this matter. Many of these Dreamers are children brought here as infants and now Republicans want them to be deported to a country many have never known. Today’s tactic represents little more than yielding to those who did not think Trump was already sufficiently anti-immigrant. This is an attempt to make Dreamers bargaining chips to achieve other Trump anti-immigrant objectives. Protecting Dreamers must be nonnegotiable. We cannot break our commitment to these Dreamers, who have been vetted, paid fees, undergone criminal background checks, and are either in school or are already graduates, contributing to our economy. I stand with our Dreamers who are helping make America great.”
Rep. Carlos Uresti
"A civilized society does not punish nearly 800,000 young people for coming out of the shadows, a place they found themselves by no fault of their own. Over 124,000 young people in Texas will be negatively impacted. As a member of the Texas Legislature for 20 years, I have been a fighter for the children of Texas, and that commitment doesn't discriminate based on paperwork or country of birth. I implore my Congressional colleagues and President Trump to right this wrong immediately. Destroying the lives of these young adults through deportation is not Christian, moral or right."
Rep. Sheila Jackson
“President Trump’s decision to rescind the DACA program is yet another cruel and heartless act by an Administration that has openly declared war on immigrants. As a result, more than 800 thousand of our nation’s dreamers hang in limbo, unable to realize the American dream of a safer home and a more prosperous future. With this announcement, it now falls upon Congress to take swift and immediate corrective action to protect these young men and women who are openly contributing to the fabric of this great nation. Dreamers need to know they are safe, and I call on Congress to enact an emergency DACA protection provision in the continuing resolution. To date, DACA has not been ruled unconstitutional and Trump’s order has not been judged by the courts. During this deliberative period, Dreamers should not be subjected to ICE raids and confrontations and the President should make it clear that the current DACA policy remains in effect. Mr. Trump’s decision cruel, mean-spirited and heartless. We are just beginning to recover from Hurricane Harvey and people who are suffering cannot take this added stress. I have heard firsthand of the enormous fear from DACA status individuals, the institutions they work for and their schools. Dreamers have had their American dreams yanked out from under them by this President, marking a sad and shameful point in our nation’s history.”
Rep. Jose Menendez
“This horrible decision by the Trump Administration will tear apart families, punish people for actions they had no control over, deliver an unnecessary blow to our economy and to the very character of our nation of immigrants. I call upon all Americans to reject this unjust decision by demanding that our lawmakers in Washington work together to protect these Dreamers who have done nothing wrong and in numerous ways have done so much good for this country."
Rep. John Cornyn
“This policy, while well-intentioned, was implemented without the approval of Congress by a President who exceeded his authority under the Constitution. This President now has the chance to work with Congress towards finding a solution to this issue where his predecessor failed. These children who were brought here illegally through no fault of their own continue to make positive contributions to Texas and the nation, and it’s important for us to achieve a long-term resolution.”
Rep. Lamar Smith
“Today President Trump delivered on his promise to the American people. He said he would discontinue DACA, which allows hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants to stay in the country and gives them work permits. By ending the unconstitutional DACA program he has overturned the last of the Obama Administration’s amnesty agenda and returned to the rule of law. President Obama, a former Constitutional law professor, said many times that DACA was unconstitutional. Congress and the administration should strengthen our laws against illegal immigration and ensure that our immigration policies put unemployed Americans first. The U.S. labor participation rate is at a 40 year low. President Trump is right not to continue the DACA program and to force Congress to address immigration policies, including securing the border.”
Rep. Will Hurd
“There is no doubt that our immigration system is broken. Congress must provide a permanent, legislative solution for children brought here through no fault of their own. We should create immigration policies that strengthen our economy and keep Americans safe, which is why I look forward to working with my colleagues to make a permanent, legislative solution that allows people who have only known America as their home, to stay and continue contributing to our Nation's culture, economy and history.”
Rep. Roland Gutierrez
"Today, the White House made it clear that they don't care about facts or what the business leaders have to say. Trump will ignore basic economic reality to cater to the lowest common denominator," said State Representative Roland Gutierrez. "We have a choice to lead the world or shrink. The President thinks America is too little to lead. It's time now for the business community in our state and nation to clearly pick a side. Are you going to be complicit in bigotry and weakening our economy, or will you stand up and join the right side of history?"
Rep. Eddie Rodriguez
“DACA was always meant to be a temporary fix, a common-sense stop-gap measure to codify prosecutorial discretion until Congressional Republicans stopped obstructing bipartisan immigration reform. But the deportation relief and work permit DACA put within reach changed countless lives for the better. DACA has meant something different to each of its recipients, with one thing in common: freedom. There’s nothing more American than what DACA recipients have done with the limited freedom the program has granted them. They have graduated from college, become teachers, started businesses, raised families, and contribute billions of dollars per year to our economy. The end of DACA could be devastating for our country unless there is a congressional fix. Students will withdraw from college for their inability to pay, families will lose income as primary breadwinners lose their work permits, and our economy will suffer for the loss of entrepreneurship and economic activity. Our GDP will bear a loss of $433 billion over 10 years if we do not remedy this short-sighted political maneuver. In light of today’s announcement, the Republican-controlled Congress must debate the bipartisan Bridge Act in a show of good faith. Folks on both sides of the aisle agree that we need to set aside partisan politics and work on comprehensive immigration reform or bad actors will use the issue to drive our country apart for personal gain. Comprehensive immigration reform and a path to citizenship for Dreamers are long overdue. I have been inspired by the passion of the young folks I’ve met fighting to defend DACA. Despite this setback, I know that they will continue organizing and making forward progress.”