YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Trump Administration announced Tuesday that it was ending DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), an Obama-era program that had protected nearly 800,000 young undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children from deportation.
Local Democrats were swift in their condemnation of Trump’s decision. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-13th District, said Trump is devastating the futures of people who have paid taxes and served in our military.
“The DREAMers that DACA protects were brought here as children through no fault of their own. President Trump’s heartless decision go after 800,000 young people is a complete betrayal of his promise to respond ‘with great heart’ to this issue. His choice to pursue this action instead of using our finite resources to go after criminals who have broken our country’s most serious laws shows that his priorities are not in order,” Ryan said in a prepared statement. “In reality, this reversal will force young people back into the shadows after they voluntarily registered with the government to serve in our military, attend college, and pay taxes.”
President Donald Trump suggested Tuesday it’s up to Congress to ultimately decide the fate of hundreds of thousands of young immigrants brought into the country illegally as children.
He tweeted: “Congress, get ready to do your job – DACA!”
But such an approach — essentially kicking the can down the road and letting Congress deal with it— is fraught with uncertainty and political perils that amount, according to one vocal opponent, to “Republican suicide.”
Ohio Sen. Rob Portman issued a statement following the announcement saying is ready to work with Congress to come up with a plan to keep the DACA immigrants in the U.S.
Those in the DACA program are here through no fault of their own, and for many this is the only country they know. I agree that Congress should act rather than continue the Obama administration’s unconstitutional executive action. I support bipartisan efforts to find a permanent solution that will allow those in the DACA program to stay here and continue to contribute to our society. I believe we can and should respect the rule of law while also dealing with this issue in a humane and compassionate way, and that’s the approach I believe the administration and members of both parties in Congress should take as we look at legislative solutions on this issue.”
Congress has repeatedly tried — and failed — to come together on immigration overhaul legislation, and it remains uncertain whether the House would succeed in passing anything on the divisive topic.
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) also spoke out Tuesday against Trump’s decision saying he should go after violent criminals and not innocent children.
“We should not be targeting young people who are working, going to school, paying taxes and contributing to this country – the country they grew up in and the only home they’ve ever known,” Brown said.
Brown is a supporter of the DREAM Act. He also supported the bipartisan immigration reform bill that passed the Senate in 2013 to increase border security and create a path to citizenship.