House Speaker Paul Ryan responded Tuesday to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ announcement that the president will be rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program which allows those who came to the country illegally as minors and meet certain criteria to remain without being deported. The administration rescinded the decision with a six-month delay for current recipients, a delay that gives Congress time to respond with legislation.
“However well-intentioned, President Obama’s DACA program was a clear abuse of executive authority, an attempt to create law out of thin air,” Ryan said. “Just as the courts have already struck down similar Obama policy, this was never a viable long-term solution to this challenge. Congress writes laws, not the president, and ending this program fulfills a promise that President Trump made to restore the proper role of the executive and legislative branches.”
“But now there is more to do, and the president has called on Congress to act,” he continued. “The president’s announcement does not revoke permits immediately, and it is important that those affected have clarity on how this interim period will be carried out.”
Prior to the announcement, President Trump tweeted to Congress “get ready to do your job – DACA!”
Ryan emphasized that “at the heart of this issue are young people who came to this country through no fault of their own, and for many of them it’s the only country they know. Their status is one of many immigration issues, such as border security and interior enforcement, which Congress has failed to adequately address over the years.”
“It is my hope that the House and Senate, with the president’s leadership, will be able to find consensus on a permanent legislative solution that includes ensuring that those who have done nothing wrong can still contribute as a valued part of this great country,” he concluded.
On Friday, Ryan signaled disapproval for Trump’s plan to end the program, telling a hometown radio station, "I actually don't think he should do that, I believe that this is something that Congress has to fix."
"President (Barack) Obama does not have the authority to do what he did ... we've made that very clear," Ryan said. "Having said all of that, there are people who are in limbo. These are kids who know no other country, who were brought here by their parents and don't know another home. And so I really do believe there that there needs to be a legislative solution."
Top Democrats pledged to fight for DACA following the announcement with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi calling Trump’s order “cruelty” and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer tweeting that “Dems will do all we can to prevent POTUS order from becoming reality.”
Trump’s cowardice is on full display today. His cruelty must not stand! #ProtectDREAMers— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) September 5, 2017