WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito said when it comes to addressing those directly affected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, Congress should put forward a solution that also includes provisions regarding border security.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Sept. 5 an end to DACA, a program created by former President Barack Obama in 2012 to allow 800,000 people who were brought to the United States illegally as children to stay in the country. President Donald Trump tweeted last week lawmakers have six months to come up with a solution.
Capito, the junior Republican senator from West Virginia, said on MetroNews “Talkline” last week the issue of border protection has been debated enough by lawmakers and it is time for action.
“I wouldn’t say it would be a comprehensive immigration (plan) because I don’t think it would do everything,” she said. “I do think we will figure out what to do with the undocumented children who were brought over here by their parents and we’ll also devote resources to securing the border at the same time.”
Capito said Trump had to make a decision because of a lawsuit stemming from Obama’s executive action; attorney generals from 11 states, including West Virginia’s Patrick Morrisey, sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on June 29 requesting the end of renewing or issuing of new DACA permits by Sept. 5. If this action was done, a lawsuit against DACA would be dismissed.
“I think there was a high likelihood that (DACA) was going to be declared unconstitutional or unlawful,” she noted.
The plaintiffs successfully blocked the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability program from taking effect, which would have postponed deportations of parents who entered the country without legal permission.
Attorney generals from 15 states and Washington, D.C., announced Sept. 6 they will challenge Trump’s decision to end DACA.
“Rescinding DACA will cause harm to hundreds of thousands of the States’ residents, injure State-run colleges and universities, upset the States’ workplaces, damage the States’ economies, hurt State-based companies, and disrupt the States’ statutory and regulatory interests,” the lawsuit stated.
The recent complaint also accused Trump’s action as being part of an effort to “to punish and disparage people with Mexican roots.”
During his June 2015 presidential campaign announcement, Trump called Mexican immigrants “rapists” and said they were bringing drugs and crime to the United States. He also made building a wall on the United States-Mexico border a major point of his campaign platform.
Capito said it would be wrong to force those who came to the United States as children out, adding Congress should create a policy for allowing those protected under DACA to gain citizenship such as extending work permits.
“I don’t think we should put everybody at the front of the line who got here illegally. I’m not for amnesty,” she said. “There’s a way to weave this, and I think that’s what we’re going to be looking for.”
U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., also supports Trump’s decision, telling Talking Points Memo last week the president was right to allow Congress to create a solution.
“Border security’s the number one thing. Nothing’s going to pass without border security,” he said. “So if they think they can pass DACA or anything without a tough border security bill, that won’t happen.”
Manchin is the only Democratic senator to stand by Trump on this matter.