SALT LAKE CITY September 4, 2017 – Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes issued the following statement regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, following reports that the President would be ending the program:
“DACA is a creation of executive order that can be undone by executive order. It is why for years many leaders at the state level, including myself, have advocated for immigration reform by Congress that would have greater permanence and legal legitimacy.
“If President Trump rescinds the DACA executive order, which I believe he has every right to do, I strongly encourage him to allow enough time for Congress to pass legislation providing a path for Dreamers that takes into account the values they have exemplified to this point. It is incumbent on Congress to take up with urgency an issue it should have acted upon a long time ago.
“In my view, it would be inhumane if Congress fails to find a solution for those who may have come unlawfully as children but who are otherwise law abiding, productive, and committed to defending America. There are several proposed bills already being discussed to that end. At the same time, it would be irresponsible for Congress not to tackle at least some of the other pressing immigration issues facing our nation as part of such a solution.
“We must find a way to make sure that we are not in the exact same position ten or twenty years from now. This will only come with increased control of our borders, a more sensible approach to immigration policy, and a much more disciplined and consistent enforcement of that policy.
“It is unconscionable to deport a young person who came to this country as a child or even infant without any choice of their own. These kids are our kids too. They grew up next door to you and me, played on the little league teams we coached, went to school with our children, worked in local businesses, and by and large, they are leading productive lives contributing to our economy and the strength of America.
“These children grew up believing they are American and so many of them have lived lives of which America can be proud. Rather than deporting those in whom America has already invested many resources, I urge Congress to pass legislation that provides a workable path forward so these young people can prove their ongoing commitment to this country and benefit all of us with their talents and skills. This can be done as we strengthen borders, security, and the economic viability of America.”