Reps. Jeff Denham and David Valadao joined four other Republicans Thursday to urge President Trump to leave in place deportation protections for some people who were brought to the country illegally as children.
Trump’s mixed messages on whether he would continue the 5-year-old Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program has been a source of consternation since the Republican took office in January.
California is home to an estimated one-third of the 750,000 people who were granted work permits under the program. Republican attorneys general for Texas and nine other states have given the Trump administration an early September deadline to end the program or be sued.
In a letter to Trump, the representatives encouraged the president to focus on deporting criminals and to allow the program to continue until Congress can find a permanent legislative solution for the people who qualify for the program.
Denham of Turlock and Valadao of Hanford each represent agricultural districts in the Central Valley with large Latino populations, and each face potentially tough battles with Democrats in 2018.
“We have violent criminals preying on our communities, and our resources should be going toward their deportation instead of being directed toward the young men and women protected through DACA, who are working toward a better future,” Denham said in a statement.