Fresno Bee: Valadao, Costa decry DACA decision, pledge to support young people already here

Sep 5, 2017
In The News

Congressman Jim Costa speaks, calling on House and Senate leaders to pass immigration reform in light of President Trump’s decision to end DACA -- CRAIG KOHLRUSS, Fresno Bee file

By: Fresno Bee staff

SEPTEMBER 05, 2017

While not directly criticizing President Trump’s decision to end the DACA program, Rep. David Valadao, R-Hanford, said he would work to help young people who are already living in America under the program.

In a statement issued shortly after the president’s decision was announced, Valadao said it is up to Congress to find a solution to the issue of young people illegally brought into the United States by their undocumented parents.

He noted that for many of these people, America is the only nation they have lived in. “I will do everything in my power to ensure those who were brought to the United States through no fault of their own are not unjustly punished.”

Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno, also put the burden on Congress, saying it has failed to achieve immigration reform.

The Trump administration,” he said, “has taken a significant step backwards by threatening to force nearly 800,000 young immigrants from the country they call home.”

Costa noted that 1,000 Fresno State students are living here through DACA, while UC Merced has another 600. “Congress must pass legislation that provides our DREAMers protections similar to those under DACA before these protections are eliminated.”

No statements were issued by Reps. Devin Nunes, R-Tulare, or Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield. Both represent Tulare County.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Tuesday the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, an Obama-era initiative that shielded young undocumented immigrants from deportation, will end.

Sessions said there will be an unspecified “wind down period,” which is meant to give Congress some time to come up with a potential replacement for the program. Replacement legislation is unlikely to pass without additional immigration enforcement provisions, such as increased border security or ways to crack down on sanctuary cities.

Previous reports said there would be a six-month delay, but Sessions did not mention that during his remarks.