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California Legislature

California Assembly approves resolution denouncing Trump's decision on DACA

Immigrants and supporters march in Los Angeles on Sunday to oppose President Trump's order to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. (David McNew / Getty Images)
Immigrants and supporters march in Los Angeles on Sunday to oppose President Trump's order to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. (David McNew / Getty Images)

After some intense exchanges on the house floor, the California Assembly on Wednesday passed a resolution that condemned President Trump for his decision to rescind protections for people who were brought into the country illegally as children.

House Resolution 66, coauthored by 57 members in the chamber, urges the president to stand with recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, and calls on Congress to find a “bipartisan and more effective” version of the initiative.

It was approved 57 to 1.

On the Assembly floor, lawmakers pointed to research that showed one-fourth of people with DACA status in the U.S. reside in California — about 222,000 people who they said have contributed to tech, agriculture, business and the arts. Supporters shared personal stories about relatives who came into the country illegally.

Assemblywoman Blanca Rubio (D-Baldwin Park), who was brought to the country illegally when she was 6, said she was proud to serve as a legislator and contribute to the state's economy.

When you talk about DACA recipients, "it is not just some kid. It is somebody like me."

The only dissenting member was Assemblyman Matthew Harper (R-Huntington Beach), who argued DACA was the result of abusive federal overreach by President Obama.

The Obama administration policy that created the program was, he said, "a cruel trick that we live with the consequences of today.”

Assemblyman Devon Mathis (R-Visalia), the only other member to speak against, didn't vote. But he ignited passionate rebuttal from members when he said they needed to stop filing “dumb—" resolutions, politicizing "every damn thing."

“Our president didn’t say he wanted to get rid of DACA,” Mathis said. “He didn’t say he wanted to round up all the 'Dreamers.'”

One of those rebuttals came from Assemblyman Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles), who said this era would go down as one of the darkest periods in the country’s history.

Trump doesn’t support DACA students or Dreamers, he said.

“You can’t rewrite history in five minutes on the Assembly floor,” he said. “You can’t turn around and say that he supports people who look like me because he clearly hasn’t.”

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