Murphy Statement on Ending Temporary DACA Program
Today, I released the following statement on the administration’s announcement to rescind the temporary DACA program. Continue reading below:
WASHINGTON, DC — Congressman Tim Murphy (PA-18) weighed in on today’s announcement by Attorney General Jeff Sessions to bring to an end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, temporarily enacted in 2012.
“Despite having acknowledged more than 20 times throughout his presidency that he had zero authority to take unilateral action on immigration, former President Obama vowed ‘to fix as much of our immigration system as I can on my own’ and proceeded to enact Executive Orders without congressional input or approval as is required by the U.S. Constitution, some of which were struck down by the courts. Therefore, it is fully within President Trump’s authority to not continue authorizing a temporary executive order already set twice to expire in 2014 and again in 2016.”
In June of 2012, the former Secretary of Homeland Security announced a new program of “prosecutorial discretion” allowing individuals who illegally entered United States as children to request a deferment of deportation proceedings or removal action for a period of two years, subject to renewal and eligibility for work authorization. Today, the average age of an individual enrolled in the DACA program is 25.
“I do not believe, nor do I support, deporting children who have no home but the United States and are here through no fault of their own as the solution. To that end, the President has made it clear that DACA permits would not be immediately revoked nor will ending the temporary program result in immediate deportation of individuals currently enrolled in the DACA deferral program. Instead, this announcement is proactive in nature and dictates how we will move forward in reforming immigration policy. Now more than ever we must remember lessons learned from the past and offer a permanent, workable legislative solution for those who wish to become an American citizen, one that accurately reflects our nation’s priority to protect our national security to advance the interests of the American people,” Murphy continued.
“Southwestern Pennsylvanians understand the desire of those wanting to come to America. Many of our grandparents and great-grandparents came here to find freedom and opportunity. But our forefathers also played by the rules. We can, and should, welcome those who choose to come to the U.S. legally, but those who have entered the country unlawfully should not be permitted to stay. It’s a simple matter of fairness. By concluding these temporary Executive Orders, the power to legislate and reform immigration law is rightfully returned to Congress. I have already spoken with leadership in the House and look forward to working with my colleagues to form a lawful, permanent solution for individuals who currently call, have always called, or wish to call the United States home.”
Murphy pointed to the Encourage New Legalized Immigrants to Start Training Act (ENLIST Act) as an example of a bipartisan legislative solution regarding immigration policy. Reintroduced this January, the ENLIST Act (H.R. 60), fully supported by Murphy, would allow otherwise qualified undocumented immigrants brought here by their parents through no fault of their own to earn legal status through military service.
Congressman Murphy has consistently sought to offer a permanent legislative solution for children who came to the United States illegally, voicing disapproval of any unilateral action taken by the Administration on immigration reform via executive action that circumvents the legislative process. In 2014, Murphy voted to freeze the DACA program.
Read full statement online here.