Virginia lawmakers react to President Trump's DACA decision

By Jeff Williamson - Digital Content Manager
Headline Goes Here Getty Images

Hundreds of immigration advocates and supporters attend a rally and march to Trump Tower in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program also known as DACA on August 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

ROANOKE, Va. - Some Virginia lawmakers have released statements regarding their reaction to President Donald Trump's decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The program protected nearly 800,000 young undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children from deportation, according to CNN.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe released the following statement:

“President Trump’s decision to rescind DACA is a heartless attack on 800,000 young people who were brought here by their parents at a young age. It will plunge families, communities, businesses, and schools into terrible uncertainty for no reason other than to keep a political promise to extremists on the far right-wing of his party. DREAMers are our friends, neighbors, co-workers, students, fellow taxpayers and the people who serve in the military to protect us. An attack on them is an attack on the fabric of our nation. 

“Today’s decision will not make America great again – it will damage our economy, make us less safe and even further diminish our nation’s standing as a leader on the world stage. As the Governor of a state where DREAMers make a significant contribution, I urge President Trump to reconsider this terrible decision and work with congress to pass real immigration reform that will bring these young people out of the shadows for good.”

Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, issued the following statement:

“Throughout President Obama’s time in office, he used his ‘pen and phone’ to overstep his authority and unilaterally rewrite our nation’s laws. Individuals who were brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents as children are in a very difficult position, but no president has the authority to change the law on his own terms. President Obama’s refusal to enforce our immigration laws and decision to unilaterally create immigration programs encouraged more illegal immigration and contributed to the surge of unaccompanied minors and families seeking to enter the U.S. illegally. His actions were wholly unconstitutional and compromised the integrity of the immigration system and the rule of law.

“President Trump has done the right thing by ending this unlawfully-contrived program. In addition to working on immigration enforcement legislation, per the President’s request, I stand ready to work with the Trump Administration and my colleagues in Congress to address this problem the right way: through reasonable legislation passed by Congress, rather than by executive fiat.”

U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) released the following statement:

“President Trump has made a heartless decision to target hundreds of thousands of young people who were brought to the United States through no fault of their own, breaking his promise that these ‘incredible kids’ could ‘rest easy’ and putting them at risk for being torn away from their families. In Virginia, 12,000 of these Dreamers are neighbors, friends, and students who just want the opportunity to contribute to their communities and our economy. Today's action will force DACA recipients back into the shadows and put them in danger of being deported from the only home they’ve ever known.  Congress should immediately pass the bipartisan DREAM Act to protect these kids and then find an agreement on long-overdue, comprehensive immigration reform.”

U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) released the following statement:

“The DACA program was a promise to protect certain children of undocumented immigrants, who came to this country through no fault of their own, so they could safely come out of the shadows, attain legal status and realize their full potential. Over the years, the DREAMers have shown us their true character—working hard to become this nation’s next generation of students, entrepreneurs, and military men and women.  And while Congress has a responsibility to enact comprehensive immigration reform that provides them with a fair path to citizenship, which the Senate passed in 2013, we cannot let the Trump Administration’s disgraceful anti-immigrant policies leave nearly 800,000 DREAMers in limbo. Going back on our word threatens their safety, harms our economy and speaks volumes about who we are as a country.”

Copyright 2017 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.