With an increasing number of Republicans joining hands with him, House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan on Friday urged President Trump to leave intact the Obama-era program which provides protection to children who illegally entered the US. White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders will announce Trump's decision on the DACA, program under which about 800,000 young men and women are saved from deportation as well as making them eligible for work permits. Under pressure from leading business figures and Democrats who defend the program, the Republican president remained non-committal but stated, 'We love the Dreamers'.
On Friday, Ryan and Senator Orrin Hatch joined hands with members of Congress and the White House opposing the killing of DACA which was incepted by Democratic former President Barack Obama in 2012. It remains an age old target of conservative immigration hard-liners. Opposing termination, Ryan stated that Congress needs to fix it as he feels that Obama exceeded his authority in creating DACA by executive order. Consequently, people are in limbo now. He said that the kids do not know another country or another home and thus they should be addressed with a legislative solution that gives them peace of mind.
Welcoming Ryan's comments, Nancy Pelosi, the top House Democrat, invited him to meet with Democratic lawmakers next week for discussing a 'comprehensive legislative solution.' In his statement, hatch stated that rescinding the program would complicate the US immigration system which actually needs reform. Like the president, he too advocates tougher enforcement of existing immigration laws but cannot deny a workable, permanent solution for individuals for children who had entered illegally and built lives here since they are innocent. It's Congress that can provide the solution.
Tennessee's Republican attorney general, Herbert Slatery announced of his office abstaining from the lawsuit challenging DACA which a group of Republican state attorneys general might file next week. He urged Congress to pursue a legislative fix. In a letter to Tennessee's two Republican US senators, he wrote that his review has revealed many DACA recipients with outstanding accomplishments and laudable ambitions which can enormously benefit their country. On Friday, over 200 Dreamers with their supporters held a rally in downtown Los Angeles to stop termination of program.
One of the major promises of Trump's 2016 election campaign had been a crackdown on illegal immigrants. Deportations had increased significantly since he assumed office in January. But highlighting the important economic contributions of these immigrants, business leaders feel the termination of the program would impact adversely both economic growth and tax revenue. Leading business figures including Facebook Inc (FB.O) CEO Mark Zuckerberg have stood in support of the program and the Dreamers.
Until now, Congress under both presidents had not succeeded in passing any comprehensive immigration reform. Spokeswoman Sanders stated that despite calling DACA illegal, trump is not casual about the decision and wants to create a system and encourage legal immigration such that it benefits both the economy as well as American workers. A majority of Dreamer immigrants hail from Mexico and other Latin American countries and are dense in California and Texas followed by New York, Illinois and Florida. Dreamers have been a topic of hot debate within the White House and Trump's administration.
DACA supporters feel dreamers were educated in the US and have integrated into the American society with little to no connection to their native countries while opponents feel that these illegal immigrants have snatched away jobs from US citizens. The US is highly divided over these roughly 11 million illegal immigrants and predominantly Hispanics. Trump had promised deportation of all.
Terminating DACA would make Trump's government alienated from Hispanics which is emerging as an expanding voting bloc in the United States. Trump pardoning an Arizona sheriff for targeting Hispanics, his promise of a wall along the US-Mexican border and his rash comment of Mexico sending 'rapists' and drug dealers into the country has angered many Hispanic Americans.