Messer Backs President’s DACA Decision
By Mike Perleberg
President Donald Trump. Photo by Gage Skidmore.
(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) – Local lawmakers are mixed in their reaction to President Donald Trump’s decision to phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
President Trump said he will “revisit” DACA if Congress can’t take action. Trump wrote on Twitter that phasing out the program over six months gives Congress time to “legalize DACA.”
Trump’s tweet came hours after his administration announced Tuesday that it was rolling back the Obama-era program that protects 800,000 illegal immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children.
Almost 10,000 DACA-protected immigrants are in Indiana.
Southeastern Indiana Republican Congressman and 2018 Senate candidate Luke Messer says the President’s decision is a step toward finally addressing illegal immigration.
“Let’s remember, President Obama’s decision to unilaterally rewrite our laws was illegal. Now, Congress has its chance to pass legislation that secures our border, restores rule of law and delivers on our promises to the American people. The details of any legislation addressing DACA’s phase out will matter, and I am eager to get to work on a solution,” said Messer.
Messer’s sentiments were echoed by Indiana U.S. Senator Todd Young, who said the southern border must be secured to fix a broken immigration system.
“Irrespective of today’s announcement, that requires a bipartisan solution in Congress that reforms our legal immigration system, prevents illegal immigration, and addresses the question of what to do with undocumented men, women and children already here,” Young said.
However, fellow Republican and Ohio Governor John Kasich has called on the President to give Dreamers certainty that the U.S. is home.
— Senator Joe Donnelly (@SenDonnelly) September 4, 2017
Ohio U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, a Democrat, said President Trump had promised to “go after violent criminals, 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,” said Brown.
The President’s DACA announcement gained plenty of criticism beyond elected officials. Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie said the university was deeply disappointed in the decision to end DACA.
“We thank House Speaker Paul Ryan and other important national leaders who have expressed their support for DACA immigrants, and we join those individuals and organizations that urge swift, fair and compassionate congressional action in the next six months to codify the provisions of the DACA policy into law and remove any question of uncertainty for the roughly 800,000 beneficiaries enrolled in the program. During this time, we will work vigorously with our state’s congressional delegation and others to enact a thoughtful policy that will meet the needs of IU’s DACA students and our state,” McRobbie said in a statement.
Sister Tracy Horan, with the Indy Congregational Action Network, says Indiana faith leaders are committed to helping people in the DACA program impacted by the decision.
“It’s terrifying, especially knowing that the government has access to the information of anyone who is a recipient of DACA,” Horan said.
DACA supporters from various denominations held a vigil in Indianapolis on Tuesday.
The White House yesterday said it hopes Congress will craft a new law to deal with the people impacted by the DACA decision.