U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley at the 2016 Conservative Political Action Conference
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

President Donald Trump announced a six-month wind-down of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program implemented by the Obama Administration in 2012 through executive action. The program allowed illegal immigrants who arrived as minors to receive a two-year renewable period of deferred action from deportation and eligibility for a work permit. As of June 2016, the U.S. Customs and Immigration Services received 844,931 initial requests and approved 741,546 of them.

Iowa’s Congressional delegation responded to the news yesterday.

“However well-intentioned DACA may have been, the program was created by executive edict rather than by Congress as the Constitution requires. Because of President Obama’s executive overreach, DACA has faced numerous legitimate legal challenges, and now President Trump has asked Congress to sort it out,” U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said.

“Any legislative solution is going to have to be a compromise that addresses the status of those who have been unlawfully brought to this country and upholds the rule of law. President Trump should continue to work with Congress to pass reforms through the legislative process that encourage lawful immigration. In the meantime, I expect that the Administration’s immigration enforcement priorities will continue to target the thousands of criminals ahead of those who have otherwise abided by our laws,” he added.

“America has been and always will be a nation of immigrants, but we are also a nation of laws. However, many young undocumented children were brought here by parents, caretakers, and so forth through no fault of their own. As I have stated many times before, we must show compassion toward these children. While I do not support giving them citizenship, we must identify and pursue a measured approach that addresses their unique situation, but also respects the importance of our immigration laws and discourages future illegal immigration,” U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) responded in a released statement.

“It is now incumbent upon Congress to act. We have an opportunity to solve this issue, work to secure the border, and modernize the legal immigration system,” she added.

“I believe the decision President Obama made to implement the program on DACA was unconstitutional,” Congressman Rod Blum (R-Iowa) said in a statement. “And I agree with President Trump’s decision to return power to Congress to write, debate and vote on legislation.”

Congressman Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa) called President Trump’s decision to end DACA “disheartening.”

“Instead of playing political games, it is time Congress got to work on passing pragmatic, tough, and fair immigration reform that enforces the rule of law, secures our borders, and ensures accountability while not dividing this country and tearing children away from families,” Loebsack added.

“America is not about one color, one ethnicity or one faith. America is a compassionate nation built on the foundation of self-government, the rule of law, freedom, and the liberties and rights given in our Constitution,” Congressman David Young (R-Iowa) said in a statement.

President Obama acknowledged his limited Constitutional authority with his executive order creating DACA. It is now up to Congress to address this matter and other issues related to immigration – from enforcement to employment practices to securing our borders. These are the powers afforded to Congress, not the President, by the Constitution,” he added.

Congressman Steve King (R-Iowa) expressed support for President Trump’s decision in several tweets.

2 comments
  1. Ah, Steve King. Ever so warm and friendly to ‘his kind’. Fortunately, most others in the Iowa congressional delegation are considerably less xenophobic. Grassley, we can count on negotiating terms that best tracks whichever way the political winds are blowing. He is adept at the game.

    In truth, the constitutionality of the original directive was under debate and hardly a settled fact. Still, I agree it is Congress’ job to figure out how to ultimately manage the many kids raised in the US (green cards?), and create a more suitable immigration system. What’s interesting is that there was a time when Rubio and others seemed to be moving toward reasonable, bipartisan work on immigration bills. However, that work was almost single-handedly destroyed by the more extreme, uncompromising fringe of the GOP.

  2. Citizenship is a privilege – not a right. Obama created this mess illegally so fixing it years later is tough but has to be done. Ask those that came here legally, spending time, effort and money to do so and then those that walked across the border get the same rights? I don’t think so. They go back in line like everyone else and wait your turn. No passes, no amnesty, no special privileges, no nothing.

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