California Republicans make digs at Obama in DACA responses


Sept. 5, 2017, 12:33 p.m. Reporting from Washington

California Republicans make digs at Obama in DACA responses

Several California Republicans indicated Tuesday they want Congress to address the legal status of people brought to the country illegally as children.

Unlike the rash of statements from Democrats that criticized President Trump for ending the program, many of the Republicans’ statements blamed President Obama for creating it in the first place in 2012 when Congress reached a stalemate on immigration legislation.

“The Constitution mandates that Congress, not the president, write the laws. DACA, while well-intentioned, was an unconstitutional abuse of executive power. Our nation and our government cannot function unless we uphold the Constitution and the rule of law,” said Rep. Mimi Walters of Irvine.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield said: “President Obama was wrong to try and make immigration law by executive order like he did with DACA and DAPA. It is Congress’ role and responsibility to make immigration law, and I believe this is an issue that Congress needs to address.”

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce of Fullerton said: “The status of eligible DACA recipients should not change from one administration to the next. Congress should act now to provide a permanent, legislative solution that gives certainty to these kids. We should not deny residence to children who have only known America as their home, positively contributed to this great country and passed a background check.”

Rep. Darrell Issa of Vista said he hopes the decision will be a catalyst for immigration reform.

“The administration’s decision [Tuesday] puts the onus on Congress to address this challenge in the right way: for the long haul, with respect for our nation’s laws, a desire to enhance the integrity of our borders and a sense of compassion for those who were brought here in their childhood years ago and wish to stay as productive members of our communities,” he said.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of Huntington Beach said Obama created a “legal headache and public heartache.” Many Republicans have said Obama overstepped his authority by creating the program.

“I applaud President Trump and Atty. Gen. [Jeff] Sessions as they restore rigorous constitutional standards to the vexing issue of illegal immigration. As the president suggested, it is now up to Congress, and we must face the issue squarely and fearlessly,” Rohrabacher added.

Rep. Ken Calvert of Corona said along with providing assurance for the Dreamers, Congress need to address border security and deporting people who overstay their visas.

“I think it’s truly important that everyone acknowledge that we must restore the rule of law and enact new policies that ensure we don’t find ourselves in this same situation years down the road,” Calvert said.

Rep. Duncan Hunter’s chief of staff, Joe Kasper said, “The truth is that President Obama overstepped by excluding Congress from the decision-making process on DACA. President Trump is putting it back in the hands of Congress, where the discussion and consideration should have been from the start.”

Reps. Jeff Denham of Turlock, Steve Knight of Palmdale and David Valadao of Hanford commented earlier in the day.

1:21 p.m.: This article was updated to include response from Rep. Ken Calvert of Corona.

This article was originally published at 12:33 p.m.

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