Republican candidates for governor Jack Latvala and Adam Putnam on Monday offered support for young immigrants and say Congress needs to act. Their comments come as President Trump is deciding the fate of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival, DACA.
“We must lead with a compassionate heart, not by punishing children,” Latvala said in a statement he released. “Florida is a diverse state and our economic success depends on a strong diverse workforce. If DACA ends in 6 months it will have a disastrous impact not only on hundreds of thousands of bright, promising young people but also on our business climate.
“Congress has dropped the ball on this issue like so many others. It’s time for Congress to pass a law protecting Dreamers. I call on other leaders of the Republican Party in Florida to join me in supporting these children so they can come out of the shadows and legally secure jobs.”
We reached out to Putnam and his campaign provided this statement from him:
“Our national immigration system is broken, and the federal government must fix it. We must secure our borders, end illegal immigration and rid our nation of sanctuary cities,” Putnam said. “But the children of illegal immigrants should not be punished for their parents’ wrongdoings. I am glad to see the President will allow Congress to develop a solution to replace Obama’s unconstitutional program.”
The Times has sought comment from potential GOP candidates Richard Corcoran and Ron DeSantis.
UPDATE Tuesday: Corcoran issued a statement that suggested he doesn’t want to see any allowances.
“President Trump made the right decision. The rule of law is the rule of law and no one should be above it. Anything less would have been a tacit acceptance of President Obama’s backdoor amnesty plan for illegal immigrants. And while Congress has shown little ability to get anything done (think repeal and replace of Obamacare,) I just hope they don’t turn the opportunity the president has given them to deal with this illegal immigration problem into their own backdoor amnesty plan.”
UPDATE Wednesday: DeSantis issued a statement.
“The Obama executive amnesty is not constitutional and President Trump was duty bound to discontinue it. Had the President decided otherwise, a group of state Attorneys General were ready to bring a lawsuit that would have almost assuredly resulted in the program losing in court.
“The American constitutional system of separated powers is designed to protect liberty. When Congress rejects a particular measure, the President cannot simply legislate it on his own via an executive memo. To pretend otherwise undermines the bedrock foundations of the constitutional order that Founders deemed so vital.
“President Trump has asked Congress to craft legislation to deal with this and related topics. In doing so, it is important to put the interests of the American people front and center. First, Congress should not increase incentives for illegal immigration, which a naked codification of Obama’s executive action will do. In addition, Congress should not expand chain migration, which could happen if an amnesty recipient can sponsor those who did knowingly violate our immigration laws.
“To vindicate the interests of Americans, impediments to illegal immigration, from E-Verify to funding for a border wall, should be enacted. Also, chain migration should be discarded in favor of admission criteria based on merit and skill.”