SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Both sides of the aisle are speaking out after the White House’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals or DACA.
Former President Barak Obama implemented the program five years ago through an executive action. Some members of Congress say that’s what’s wrong with it.
A group of Republican attorney generals threatened to attack DACA in a lawsuit if President Donald Trump didn’t revoke it by September 5. Mr. Trump made the decision to end it just before that deadline.
DACA grants a work permit for immigrants under the age of 31 who were brought here illegally or overstayed their status and protects them from deportation.
It was implemented in 2012 by President Barack Obama. And since about 800,000 immigrants have received a work permit through the program.
United State Attorney General Jeff Sessions said DACA “was an unconstitutional exercise of authority by the Executive Branch,”
Some members of Congress, including Republican Congressman from Indiana Jim Banks, says Congress needs to be the one to make these decisions.
“If you’re a fan of the Constitution, and the constitutional role of the Legislative Branch, of Congress, then you should be a fan of this decision,” Congressman Banks said.
Senators Richard Durbin and Lindsay Graham made a bipartisan pitch to pass The DREAM Act, legislation that would grant a more permanent status compared to DACA’s temporary protection.
New York Senator Chuch Schumer defended DACA on the Senate floor Tuesday.
“Democrats will do everything we can to stop President Trump’s terribly wrong order from becoming reality,” he said.
Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton says Congress should bring certainty to those stuck in legal limbo and urged tightening of immigration policy to prevent further illegal immigration.
President Trump said he believes this is the right long-term solution.
“I have a great heart for the folks we’re talking about,” he said. “Hopefully now Congress will be able to help them and do it properly. And really we have no choice, we have to be able to do something.”
The program will phase out entirely by March 2020.
The President tweeted Tuesday night that now Congress now has 6 months to legalize DACA and if they can’t, he will revisit this issue.