DACA: What Reps. Mast, Frankel, Deutch, Hastings say about Trump’s decision

Palm Beach County’s U.S. House delegation for the 115th Congress, clockwise from top left: Rep. Brian Mast, R-Palm City; Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Delray Beach; Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton; Rep. Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach.

The three Democrats in Palm Beach County’s U.S. House delegation blasted President Donald Trump‘s decision to end a program that protects an estimated 800,000 young, foreign-born people who were brought to the U.S. illegally.

The delegation’s lone Republican — U.S. Rep. Brian Mast — said former President Barack Obama was wrong to implement the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, via executive order and Congress now has the chance to address the issue “the right way.”

Here’s what the local members of Congress had to say about DACA:

Rep. Brian Mast, R-Palm City: “The previous administration was wrong to circumvent Congress and our democratic process on DACA.  For far too long, Congress has ignored it’s responsibility to protect Americans by strengthening our border and reforming our broken immigration system.  We must now take the opportunity to address this issue the right way, including children of immigrants who came to the country through no fault of their own.”

Rep. Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach: “We cannot let President Trump’s heartless actions ruin lives, tear apart families, and shatter futures. DREAMers were brought to America through no fault of their own, and contribute to and strengthen our communities. Congress must get to work on legislation to protect DREAMers now.”

Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton: “The President’s plan to end the DACA program is cruel and inhumane.
“The DACA program is not a free government handout, and it’s not an amnesty program. DACA has allowed the estimated 800,000 people in our country, almost 33,000 in Florida, who were brought to the US at young ages through no fault of their own to come out of the shadows and become contributing members of our society. They are hard-working young people who want nothing more than to have all the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.
“I’ve heard from many DREAMers in South Florida who have shared how much this program has meant to them and the severe and personal damage revoking DACA will have on their lives and their families. Though they were not born here, America is the country they proudly call home.
“It’s unconscionable that the Trump Administration announced its intention to kick out these hardworking, committed young adults and break up families when these DREAMers have known no other country but the United States. It is inhumane to send these young people to countries they have no connection to, countries where they may not even speak the language.
“President Trump said he would treat DREAMers with heart and with compassion, but this act is heartless and disregards their plight. Congress must finally act to protect these DREAMers by passing bipartisan, comprehensive, and compassionate immigration reform. And the President must show some humanity by signing it.”

Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Miramar: “President Trump’s decision to terminate the DACA program is both illogical and immoral. Just one day after our nation marked Labor Day, the President’s decision will cost our country tens of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in revenue. More importantly, this decision tells the more than 800,000 DACA recipients that they are neither valued nor wanted, while in truth, they are invaluable.
“DACA recipients are here in search of the American dream: to better their education and to make a better life for themselves and their families. Casting them aside as lawbreakers or criminals is reprehensible.
“In February, President Trump pledged to address DREAMERs and immigration reform ‘with heart.’ He promised that he would ‘take care of everybody.’ Just last week, Vice President Pence reiterated that the President would act with ‘big heart’ to ensure that undocumented immigrants benefiting from DACA would be treated fairly. Regrettably, we have been reminded once again just how heartless this President is.

“President Trump’s about-face means that Congress must get to work at once to protect DREAMERs. My Republican colleagues now have a choice: stand with their President, or stand with their country. It is far past time for Congress to come together and fix our broken immigration system by providing a path to citizenship that is fair to all people – those who already call America home and those who yearn to enjoy our country’s dedication to liberty and freedom for all.”

 

 

 

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