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Congressmen from Carolinas react to President's decision to rescind DACA

A group of undocumented immigrants protected from deportation, and their allies, gathered on Biltmore Avenue in defense of the DACA program on Monday, and to call for more protections. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

Reaction to President Donald Trump's decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, has been mixed from lawmakers. Attorney General Jeff Sessions made the announcement on Tuesday, calling the program "an unconstitutional exercise of authority." The Obama administration created the DACA program in 2012.

Below are the full statements WLOS has received from lawmakers from the Carolinas.

Sen. Richard Burr - (R-NC)

Today, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the end of the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA) program. It’s time for Congress to write a comprehensive immigration bill that will address the undocumented children of immigrants covered under the DACA program. The DACA program is unlawful and unconstitutional. I look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress to address this issue in a sensible way as the Founders intended, not by executive fiat, but by carefully crafted legislation that best serves all Americans.

Sen. Thom Tillis - (R-NC)

Immigration policy must be set through legislation, not executive orders. That was the fundamental flaw underpinning DACA and the reason it’s highly unlikely to survive a legal challenge. President Trump is wisely giving Congress a period of time to fulfill its responsibility to legislate and take long-term action to address the uncertainty facing undocumented children, who were brought to America through no fault of their own.
In the next week, I’ll be introducing legislation that will provide a fair and rigorous path for undocumented children to earn legal status by requiring them to be employed, pursue higher education, or serve in our Armed Forces. I know this kind of commonsense legislative fix can and should unite members of Congress, and I’ll be working closely with my colleagues on the path forward. It’s up to my Democratic colleagues to decide whether they want a permanent solution or to make this a political wedge issue. I hope they’ll choose bipartisanship.

Sen. Lindsey Graham - (R-SC)

If President Trump chooses to cancel the DACA program and give Congress six months to find a legislative solution, I will be supportive of such a position. I have always believed DACA was a presidential overreach. However, I equally understand the plight of the Dream Act kids who -- for all practical purposes -- know no country other than America. If President Trump makes this decision we will work to find a legislative solution to their dilemma. I have introduced legislation to solve this problem along with Senator Durbin. I look forward to working with President Trump and my colleagues in Congress to find a fair solution to this difficult problem.

Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC 10th District)

Former President Obama’s unilateral drafting and implementation of DACA was a clear example of unconstitutional, executive overreach and I believe the Trump Administration is correct in their decision to end the program. Any fix to our nation’s immigration system can only be achieved through Congress. While I would welcome the President’s guidance as to what type of reform plan he’d support, I believe any immigration legislation must first fully secure our borders and ensure all laws are properly enforced.

A request for a statement from Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC 11th District) has not been answered at this time. This story will be updated once WLOS receives his response.


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