It Begins: 17 Republicans Fall in Line to Oppose Trump’s Elimination of DACA

DACA Joe Raedle Getty Images
Joe Raedle/Getty

The number of Republicans that are speaking publicly about their support for continuing the Obama-era amnesty program for people who were brought to the country illegally as children has reached 17.

Three Senate Republicans and 14 House members — including House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI)  — are urging President Donald Trump to continue former President Barack Obama’s executive action, put in place in 2012, to give some 850,000 illegal aliens temporary legal status and work permits, at least until Congress can come up with immigration legislation to determine its fate.

Aside from Ryan, the other lawmakers who don’t want Trump to end DACA are: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) – who voted against the Dream Act in 2010 that basically gave the same protections as DACA) – and Sens. Orin Hatch (R-UT), Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ); and Reps. Jeff Denham (R-CA), David Valadao (R-CA), Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Daniel Donovan (R-NY), Don Bacon (R-NE), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Will Hurd (R-TX), Martha McSally (R-AZ), Dave Reichert (R-WA), Dan Newhouse (R-WA), and John Faso (R-NY).

“Most of the Republicans challenging Trump are targets of Democrats seeking to win back the House next year and represent districts that will help determine the House majority,” the Hill reported on Friday.

Those lawmakers include Curbelo, who has filed amendments to an upcoming spending package to keep DACA intact, and Donovan, Valadao, Denham, Bacon, Ros-Lehtinen, McSally, Diaz-Balart, Reichert, Newhouse, and Faso.

“Six of these lawmakers wrote to Trump earlier this month imploring him to leave DACA in place until Congress can pass immigration reform,” the Hill reported.

They also sent a letter to Ryan, urging him to “work with us” to determine the fate of DACA.

“The most striking move comes from Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.), who announced he will try to force a vote on his bill extending DACA work permits by starting a discharge petition — a rare move for a member of the House majority party,” the Hill reported, adding that Coffman would need to get all 194 House Democrats to sign his discharge petition, in addition to at least 23 Republican colleagues.

Curbelo — and many Democrats — had filed amendments to the spending bill that would provide funding for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to keep DACA in place.

Curbelo also has filed an amendment co-sponsored by Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.) that would allow DACA recipients to work for the federal government.

“A version of that proposal was originally adopted in the House Appropriations Committee, but it has been stripped out ahead of floor consideration next week,” the Hill reported.

The Hill explained how DACA’s future may play out when the House returns to the Capitol next week:

The House Rules Committee, which serves as an arm of GOP leaders, will meet next week to decide whether any of the amendments to prevent the Trump administration from rescinding DACA can get floor votes.

Even if the Rules Committee granted those amendments votes, precedent suggests that they would fail. In 2015, all but 26 Republicans voted for an amendment to a Department of Homeland Security spending bill that would end DACA. A similar vote in August 2014 resulted in only 11 GOP defections.

Ryan was asked about Trump and DACA in an interview with Wisconsin radio station WCLO last week.

“I actually don’t think we should do that,” Ryan said. “This is something that Congress has to fix.”

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to correct information reported by The Hill that identified Rep. Scott Taylor (R-VA) as opposed to President Donald Trump’s end to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Taylor provided the following statement to Breitbart News:

“While benevolent and well intended, it was illegal for President Obama to create this program; a President does not create laws. Therefore, President Trump is right to put the authority back into the hands of Congress. I believe Congress should create, negotiate, and pass a law protecting those in this stateless limbo, which should contain disincentives to future illegal immigrants from attempting the same and border security measures. There are DACA recipients who are as American as myself. Americans do not punish children for their parents’ sins. Under this Congress and this President we have returned to proper immigration enforcement and significantly reduced border crossings. Now is our time in Congress to lead with justice, mercy, and compassion on this issue.”


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