Lawmakers, NC groups react to Trump revoking DACA program
Posted September 5, 2017 3:16 p.m. EDT
Updated July 13, 2018 1:40 p.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — As soon as Attorney General Jeff Sessions declared the Obama administration's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protects nearly 800,000 young immigrants who were brought into the country illegally as children as "an unconstitutional exercise of authority" and the administration's plan to revoke it, North Carolina representatives and groups began reacting to to the controversial action.
"I'm here today to announce that the program known as DACA that was effectuated under the Obama administration is being rescinded," Sessions announced.
U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis of NC (R):
“Immigration policy must be set through legislation, not executive orders. That was the fundamental flaw underpinning DACA and the reason it’s highly unlikely to survive a legal challenge. President Trump is wisely giving Congress a period of time to fulfill its responsibility to legislate and take long-term action to address the uncertainty facing undocumented children, who were brought to America through no fault of their own.
“In the next week, I’ll be introducing legislation that will provide a fair and rigorous path for undocumented children to earn legal status by requiring them to be employed, pursue higher education, or serve in our Armed Forces. I know this kind of commonsense legislative fix can and should unite members of Congress, and I’ll be working closely with my colleagues on the path forward. It’s up to my Democratic colleagues to decide whether they want a permanent solution or to make this a political wedge issue. I hope they’ll choose bipartisanship.”
U.S. Sen Richard Burr of NC (R):
“Today, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the end of the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA) program. It’s time for Congress to write a comprehensive immigration bill that will address the undocumented children of immigrants covered under the DACA program. The DACA program is unlawful and unconstitutional. I look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress to address this issue in a sensible way as the Founders intended, not by executive fiat, but by carefully crafted legislation that best serves all Americans.”
U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger of NC (R):
“Congress makes the law, and so President Trump is correct to ask Congress to fully review and act on the DACA issue."
"We must not facilitate ongoing subterfuge of strong immigration policy in any consideration of DACA. We must secure our border, eliminate sanctuary cities, and end efforts to shield illegal immigrants from the rule of law.”
U.S. Rep G. K. Butterfield of NC (D):
“DACA offered protection for young people who were brought to the United States as young children, the vast majority of whom know no other home than the United States. Today, President Trump has failed to “show great heart” to the hundreds of thousands of young people whose lives are now in peril with the announcement that his Administration will end the DACA program. All DACA recipients grew up in America, are registered with our government, and have passed extensive background checks. More than 95 percent of DACA recipients are in school or in the workforce.
“I am saddened by President Trump’s decision to end the DACA program because it will devastate lives, tear apart families, and disrupt our local communities. I am an original sponsor of bipartisan immigration reform legislation that would create a path to permanent legal status for Dreamers, and I call on Speaker Ryan to do the right thing and immediately bring it to the floor for a vote.”
U.S. Rep. David Price of NC (D):
“President Trump’s decision to rescind the DACA program puts the futures of 800,000 young people at risk. This callous choice deals a tragic blow to DREAMers across the country who have become our neighbors, our colleagues and members of our armed services. Congress must immediately take action to protect these families from the anguish and suffering inflicted by the Trump Administration’s mass deportation agenda.”
U.S. Sen. John McCain (R):
“President Trump’s decision to eliminate DACA is the wrong approach to immigration policy at a time when both sides of the aisle need to come together to reform our broken immigration system and secure the border.
“I strongly believe that children who were illegally brought into this country through no fault of their own should not be forced to return to a country they do not know. The 800,000 innocent young people granted deferred action under DACA over the last several years are pursuing degrees, starting careers, and contributing to our communities in important ways. While I disagreed with President Obama’s unilateral action on this issue, I believe that rescinding DACA at this time is an unacceptable reversal of the promises and opportunities that have been conferred to these individuals.
“The federal government has a responsibility to defend and secure our borders, but we must do so in a way that upholds all that is decent and exceptional about our nation. I will be working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to devise and pass comprehensive immigration reform, which will include the DREAM Act.”
U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R):
“However well-intentioned, President Obama’s DACA program was a clear abuse of executive authority, an attempt to create law out of thin air. Just as the courts have already struck down similar Obama policy, this was never a viable long-term solution to this challenge. Congress writes laws, not the president, and ending this program fulfills a promise that President Trump made to restore the proper role of the executive and legislative branches. But now there is more to do, and the president has called on Congress to act. The president’s announcement does not revoke permits immediately, and it is important that those affected have clarity on how this interim period will be carried out.
"At the heart of this issue are young people who came to this country through no fault of their own, and for many of them it’s the only country they know. Their status is one of many immigration issues, such as border security and interior enforcement, which Congress has failed to adequately address over the years. It is my hope that the House and Senate, with the president’s leadership, will be able to find consensus on a permanent legislative solution that includes ensuring that those who have done nothing wrong can still contribute as a valued part of this great country.”
American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina:
“President Trump is cruelly throwing the lives and futures of 800,000 Dreamers, their families, and their communities into disarray,” said Irena Como, Staff Attorney for the ACLU of North Carolina. “In North Carolina, tens of thousands of our friends and neighbors have used DACA to contribute to the economy, get an education, and invest in the only home they know. Today the federal government has turned its back on these young people who came out of the shadows and worked hard to build their lives here. Congress must now act to provide permanent relief for Dreamers. The ACLU and our coalition partners are also exploring every possible measure to defend the rights of Dreamers to live and remain in the country that is their home.”
North Carolina Democratic Party, Hispanic American Democrats of North Carolina:
“Today, the Trump administration turned its back on hard-working immigrant families and students. President Trump and Washington Republicans are forcing nearly 800,000 young immigrants who only know this country as their home back into the shadows and tearing families and communities apart. These young Americans are valuable members of our society who want nothing more than to chase the American dream. Today’s action only serves to further divide our country and sow fear in our communities.
“Democrats proudly stand with these innocent, young people and will continue to work with elected officials, community groups, and immigrant families to raise their voices. America’s greatest strength is our diversity. We will continue to work to fix our broken immigration system by supporting the DREAMers, and we call on every family frustrated by today’s actions to get involved and stay politically active. North Carolina Republicans must act now and support legislation in Congress to protect our DREAMers and keep our communities safe.”
Former President Barrack Obama (D):
"Today, that shadow has been cast over some of our best and brightest young people once again. To target these young people is wrong – because they have done nothing wrong. It is self-defeating – because they want to start new businesses, staff our labs, serve in our military, and otherwise contribute to the country we love. And it is cruel."
Let’s be clear: the action taken today isn’t required legally. It’s a political decision, and a moral question. Whatever concerns or complaints Americans may have about immigration in general, we shouldn’t threaten the future of this group of young people who are here through no fault of their own, who pose no threat, who are not taking away anything from the rest of us."
U.S. Rep. Alma Adams of NC:
“Today, the Trump administration announced their cold-hearted decision to end DACA and rip nearly 27,000 young people living in North Carolina from the only home they’ve ever known."
“These children and young adults make real contributions to our society, adding $1.2 billion to North Carolina’s annual GDP, and they should be treated with the dignity every American deserves. I urge my Republican colleagues to pass the bipartisan DREAM Act to create a permanent legislative solution for the hundreds of thousands of young people who were promised protection by our government.”