August 30, 2017

What have Republicans said about Dreamers?



Last updated at 11:41am,  September 7. 

Republicans are conflicted about Dreamers, the young immigrants who were brought here unlawfully as children. On the one hand, they oppose protections that they believe were enacted unconstitutionally without Congress, like the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. On the other hand, Republicans favor the policy of protecting Dreamers on its merits.

In fact, a recent Morning Consult/Politico poll found three of four Trump voters support legal status for Dreamers. However, Republicans continue to debate about what the specifics of any proposal should look like. A Republican proposal called the Recognizing America’s Children (RAC) Act, introduced by Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL26) in the House and soon to be introduced by Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) in the Senate,  is gaining traction among Republicans as the conservative answer to Dreamers.

Many prominent Republicans have expressed sympathy for Dreamers which they could act on by supporting bills like the RAC Act. Here are some examples of what Republicans have had to say about Dreamers:

Since August 31st…

President Donald Trump: “Congress, get ready to do your job – DACA!” (September 5, 2017) (Source)

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI1): “There are people who are in limbo. These are kids who know no other country, who were brought here by their parents and don’t know another home and so I really do believe that there needs to be a legislative solution. That’s one that we’re working on.” (September 1, 2017) (Source)

Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT): “Like the president, I’ve long advocated for tougher enforcement of our existing immigration laws. But we also need a workable, permanent solution for individuals who entered our country unlawfully as children through no fault of their own and who have built their lives here. That solution must come from Congress.” (September 1, 2017) (Source)

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA): “However well-intentioned DACA may have been, the program was created by executive edict rather than by Congress as the Constitution requires. Because of President Obama’s executive overreach, DACA has faced numerous legitimate legal challenges, and now President Trump has asked Congress to sort it out. Any legislative solution is going to have to be a compromise that addresses the status of those who have been unlawfully brought to this country and upholds the rule of law.” (September 5, 2017) (Source)

Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC): “Immigration policy should be set through legislation, not executive orders. It’s the responsibility of Congress to address the long-term uncertainty facing undocumented minors. In the coming weeks, I’ll be introducing the RAC Act, a conservative solution that provides a fair but rigorous path to legal status.” (September 1, 2017) (Source)

Senator James Lankford (R-OK): “It is right for there to be consequences for those who intentionally entered this country illegally. However, we as Americans do not hold children legally accountable for the actions of their parents.” (September 4, 2017) (Source)

Senator John Cornyn (R-TX): “This policy, while well-intentioned, was implemented without the approval of Congress by a President who exceeded his authority under the Constitution. This President now has the chance to work with Congress towards finding a solution to this issue where his predecessor failed. These children who were brought here illegally through no fault of their own continue to make positive contributions to Texas and the nation, and it’s important for us to achieve a long-term resolution.” (September 5, 2017) (Source)

Senator Bob Corker (R-TN): “The president is right to want this issue to be resolved legislatively.” (September 5, 2017) (Source)

Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI): “The President has given congress six months to get our act together and fix our broken legal immigration system, end incentives for illegal entry, lawfully protect the Dreamers, end secure our borders. I look forward to working in a bipartisan fashion to advance humane, common sense legislation to do just that.” (September 5, 2017) (Source)

Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA): “Children who were brought to the United States illegally at a young age, are not at fault and deserve our support. President Obama did not have the legal authority to create the DACA program and to ignore enforcement of existing immigration law. President Trump’s decision to end this program, while giving Congress six months to come up with a legislative solution, is the right step. Congress needs to pass legislation to accommodate these young people.” (September 5, 2017) (Source)

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK): “I have a firmly held principle that we should not punish children for the actions of their parents. I believe those who were brought to this country by their parents, raised here, educated here, lived here, and dreamed here, should be welcomed to stay here. They should have the right to work and a path to citizenship. That is why I have consistently cosponsored legislation to provide those thing, and am heartened to see so many diverse voices supporting a legislative solution for the Dreamers. I am ready to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to provide a legal, certain path forward for these children of our friends and neighbors.” (September 5, 2017) (Source)

Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA): “Children who received status under President Obama’s deferred action executive order should not be punished for their parents’ choices. Congress should protect these young people while also working toward stronger measures to secure our borders and enforce our immigration laws going forward.”  (September 5, 2017) (Source)

Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO): “Children who came to this country without documentation, through no fault of their own, must have the opportunity to remain here lawfully.” (September 5, 2017) (Source)

Senator Rob Portman (R-OH): “I support bipartisan efforts to find a permanent solution that will allow those in DACA to stay here & continue to contribute to our society.” (September 5, 2017) (Source)

Senator John McCain (R-AZ): “President Trump’s decision to eliminate DACA is the wrong approach to immigration policy at a time when both sides of the aisle need to come together to reform our broken immigration system and secure the border. I strongly believe that children who were illegally brought into this country through no fault of their own should not be forced to return to a country they do not know. The 800,000 innocent young people granted deferred action under DACA over the last several years are pursuing degrees, starting careers, and contributing to our communities in important ways.” (September 5, 2017) (Source)

Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ): “Congress needs to take immediate action to protect DACA kids.” (September 1, 2017) (Source)

Senator Susan Collins (R-ME): “Congress must act quickly to protect those who were brought to the U.S. as children & in many cases know only our country as home.” (September 5, 2017) (Source)

Senator Mike Lee (R-UT): “Today’s decision puts the ball in Congress’ court to address the problem of the approximately three quarter million DACA participants, who originally came to the country as children. A balance between compassion and deterring future illegal immigration can be found.” (September 5, 2017) (Source)

Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN): “Just as President Nixon went to China, President Trump uniquely can lead a revision of our immigration laws that secures our borders, improves our system of legal immigration and solves problems such as the 800,000 children who grew up here, but were brought here illegally. I voted for such a law in 2013 and am willing to work with the president to do that again.” (September 5, 2017) (Source)

Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO): “The young people in the DACA program need a permanent, commonsense solution that will allow them to continue working and going to school in the only country that many of them have ever known. The manner in which this program was created has left DACA recipients in legal limbo for too long, and Congress now has a responsibility to work toward a legislative solution.” (September 5, 2017) (Source)

Gov. Doug Ducey (R-AZ): “With President Trump’s announcement, it’s time for Congress to come together and bring closure to this issue for the children and young adults living in limbo, many of whom reside in Arizona. They should be held harmless for the decisions of their parents. This shouldn’t be a matter of executive action; it should be a matter of law.” (September 5, 2017) (Source)

Gov. Brian Sandoval (R-NV): “I support DACA and have been proud to sign into law legislation that allowed DACA recipients to become licensed teachers in our schools and provide a path for them to earn a driver’s license which has increased safety for all Nevadans. I have also had the privilege to meet many individuals and families whose lives have been transformed by this program. These individuals who were brought here as children and this is the country they know and love because it’s their home. Many are now young adults who wear our nation’s uniform in the Armed Forces or are teaching in our classrooms. They’re our neighbors, friends, and the familiar faces at the grocery store. They are Nevadans. While the state has taken many actions to embrace and ensure equal opportunities for DACA recipients, a solution requires Congressional action. I am hopeful that Nevada’s federal delegation will recognize the urgency of the moment and fight for the thousands of Nevadans who are living happier lives and contributing to our state’s recovery. Congress must act in order to preserve this program and reform and stabilize our nations’s immigration system.” (September 5, 2017) (Source)

Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL): “This issue must be addressed. I do not favor punishing children for the actions of their parents. These kids must be allowed to pursue the American Dream, and Congress must act on this immediately. I am encouraged by the approach Congressman Carlos Curbelo and Senator Thom Tillis are working on to address this problem.” (September 1, 2017) (Source)

Gov. John Kasich (R-OH): “POTUS needs to give Dreamers certainty that USA is home.” (September 2, 2017) (Source)

Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX): “We wouldn’t have this whole issue about DACA, if Congress would step up and pass immigration reform and do so in working with the president.” (September 3, 2017) (Source)

Gov. Larry Hogan (R-MD): “Today’s announcement makes one thing very clear—Congress has to act…Focusing immigration efforts on children and young people, many of whom have never known another home and came to this country by no fault of their own, should not be where enforcement efforts are concentrated. Instead of targeting innocent kids, we should be targeting criminals.” (September 5, 2017) (Source)

Gov. Rick Snyder (R-MI): “We are the best Michigan when we are a diverse Michigan – one that is made up of people whose stories and journeys are not identical. One path to success and prosperity looks different than the next, which should be celebrated and encouraged. Many are working toward success under the existing DACA, and for the certainty of their future Congress should act quickly to authorize and clarify their status. In Michigan we will continue to honor everyone’s journey who has become part of our family of 10 million people, and remain the most welcoming state in the nation for immigrants and dreamers seeking prosperity, a home and a community that is accepting of their family and their desire to succeed in America.” (September 5, 2017) (Source)

Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA6): “I stand ready to work with the Trump Administration and my colleagues in Congress to address this problem the right way: through reasonable legislation passed by Congress, rather than by executive fiat.” (September 5, 2017) (Source)

Letter to Speaker Ryan signed by Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ2), Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE2), Rep Carlos Curbelo (R-FL26), Rep. Scott Taylor (R-VA2), Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL25), Rep. David G. Reichert (R-WA8), Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA10), Rep. David Valadao (R-CA21): “We are willing and ready to find a solution no matter what action is taken by President Trump in the coming days and encourage you to work with us as soon as possible to work with us as soon as possible to do so.” (September 1, 2017) (Source)

Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL26): “Calling on House GOP to join me & cosponsor RAC Act to provide a permanent & fair solution for DREAMers.” (August 31, 2017) (Source)

Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA23): “It is Congress’s role and responsibility to make immigration law and I believe this is an issue Congress needs to address. Over the next few months, I will continue to work closely with my colleagues so we can strengthen border security and fix our broken immigration system.” (September 5, 2017) (Source)

Rep. David Valadao (R-CA21): “Congress must act to repair immigration system & ensure children, who were brought through no fault of their own, are allowed to stay.” (September 1, 2017) (Source)

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL25): “We should not punish these young people for a decision that was never theirs to make.” (September 5, 2017) (Source)

Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ7): “Today President Trump has called on Congress to act and rightfully so. To this end, I am cosponsoring legislation that would provide a workable, permanent legislative solution for those individuals who entered our country unlawfully as children with their undocumented parents. Over the coming weeks I intend to work closely with my colleagues and the Administration to pass meaningful immigration reforms that will secure our borders, strengthen employment verification and provide a workable path for ‘Dreamers’ with DACA status.” (September 5, 2017) (Source)

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL16): “In 2015, I voted to support DACA because I believe these children, who only know America to be their home, deserve an opportunity to be here legally. With that said, Congress now has an opportunity to act on immigration reform and we have the support here to do it. As a cosponsor of H.R. 1468, the Recognizing America’s Children (RAC) Act, it is my hope that the House will consider this legislation, sponsored by my friend and colleague Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), so we can act on this important issue sooner rather than later. It’s critical that we act on a permanent, legislative solution that allows these immigrants, individuals who have come out of the shadows and contributed to our society and economy, to stay here legally.” (September 5, 2017) (Source)

Rep. John Carter (R-TX31): “I agree the creation of legislation is the role of Congress, not the President. As Congress takes up immigration reform, I look forward to working with my colleagues on a legislative solution that benefits our nation and provides for the pursuit of the American dream.” (September 5, 2017) (Source)

Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX17): “The decision to rescind this program now brings the important job of fixing our broken and inadequate immigration system into focus for Congress to work out a legislative solution. When it comes to the Dreamers, those children and young adults who are here through no fault of their own, I believe Congress should quickly find a solution to ensure they can stay in the United States, which for many is the only home they know.” (September 5, 2017) (Source)

Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX23): “Congress must provide a permanent, legislative solution for children brought here through no fault of their own. We should create immigration policies that strengthen our economy and keep Americans safe, which is why I look forward to working with my colleagues to make a permanent, legislative solution that allows people who have only known America as their home, to stay and continue contributing to our Nation’s culture, economy, and history.” (September 5, 2017) (Source)

Rep. Roger Williams (R-TX25): “Congress needs to do its job. As we begin to debate this important issue, it is my hope that we pursue legislation that makes our country safer and stronger. We need to do all of this with the goal of inspiring people to legally pursue the American Dream.” (September 5, 2017) (Source)

Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO6): “DACA participants grew up here, went to school here, and should be allowed to stay here. The time has come to take action.” (August 31, 2017) (Source)

Rep. Francis Rooney (R-FL19): “I think Congress is going to do its job this time to enact a legislative solution” (September 6, 2017) (Source)

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL27): “For too long, Dreamers have been living with fear and unable to plan for their futures. DACA was necessary to provide a migratory safe harbor and it is cruel to take away the opportunities to work and go to school currently afforded to them. I remain committed to working with my colleagues in Congress to find a permanent legislative solution that protects DREAMers so that our nation does not lose this treasure trove of young people who only truly know and love the United States as their home. I call on my Congressional colleagues to debate and vote on the DREAM Act that Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard and I have presented or on one of the many bills proposed, such as the RAC Act or BRIDGE Act, to help Dreamers achieve permanence and certainty.” (September 5, 2017) (Source)

Rep. Susan W. Brooks (R-IN5): “The dissolving of DACA will not take place for another six months, giving Congress time to work to provide these kids who are woven into our communities, the reassurance that they will be able to continue living their lives as they always have. I look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress to find a compassionate resolution that will not punish children for the actions of their parents. Sending these children back to countries they are not familiar with is not the solution.” (September 5, 2017) (Source)

Rep. Luke Messer (R-IN6): “Now, Congress has its chance to pass legislation that secures our border, restores rule of law and delivers on our promises to the American people. The details of any legislation addressing DACA’s phase out will matter, and I am eager to get to work on a solution.” (September 5, 2017) (Source)

Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ3): “Hurting the most innocent and vulnerable population would be wrong and misguided. Many of the young people affected by DACA have lived in the United States for most of their lives—and in the eyes of their friends, neighbors and communities are just as American as my own kids. They should not be punished for their parents’ crime.” (September 2, 2017) (Source)

Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ2): “Young people who came to our nation through no fault of their own should not be punished for the illegal actions of adults. I will again support and vote for legislation that ensures a permanent solution for ‘Dreamers’ so they may continue to live and work in our great country that many of them have only known.” (September 5, 2017) (Source)

Rep. Rick W. Allen (R-GA12): “It is the job of Congress to write our laws, and President Obama’s DACA program was a clear example of executive overreach. I look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress to find a feasible permanent solution.” (September 5, 2017) (Source)

Rep. Mia Love (R-UT4): “As a child of immigrant parents, I am sensitive to the position in which young, undocumented immigrants find themselves. From the beginning, Congress should have taken the lead in crafting a solution to this issue. No one person should unilaterally determine the fate of hundreds of thousands of others. The President’s decision today will allow Congress to craft policy that works for all. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the coming months on a solution consistent with the principles that Utahns hold dear.”(September 5, 2017) (Source)

Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL3): “Congress now has six months to work collectively on a legislative solution that will fix this problem and shield Dreamers from deportation. We owe it to them and all Americans to fix this once and for all.” (September 5, 2017) (Source)

Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA4): “Any decision to end the DACA program would not merely be a disappointment, but a major setback for the young people I know who were brought here as children through no fault of their own. I have listened to their stories, and these young people are struggling as their futures here seem in doubt. I will continue to work to protect Dreamers. It is my priority in Congress to give these young people certainty, which is why I am urging the Speaker to support a legislative solution for DACA.” (September 1, 2017) (Source)

Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI 3): “Our Constitution vests all legislative powers in Congress. Let’s work together to responsibly address DACA and other immigration matters.” (September 5, 2017) (Source)

Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R-ME2): “America is a country of immigrants, like my own family. However, no President can simply side-step Congress and create immigration laws on his or her own. The Constitution is clear that the Legislative branch is responsible for passing laws to be presented to the President for signature. The Obama Administration acted illegally in creating the DACA program in 2012. I strongly opposed this action—joining a resolution condemning it—because it was unconstitutional and a violation of executive power. Now, the current Administration is facing legal challenges from several states if the DACA policy continues. As someone who raised my son mostly as a single dad, I am particularly sensitive to the fact that a young child has little or no control over the movements of his or her family. A child should not be held responsible for the actions of parents who chose to break our immigration laws.” (September 5, 2017) (Source)

Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY23): “I feel compassion for DREAMers who face uncertain futures due to choices not their own. We in Congress should take this opportunity to reform our legal immigration system, not only to find a permanent solution to the plight of these individuals but also to ensure that immigrants can contribute to our society and economy. We must develop policies that create both opportunity and long-term stability for our country as a whole. Comprehensive immigration reform and securing our borders are both necessary to protecting our national interests. This year we have co-sponsored two bipartisan bills that would have a direct and positive impact on DREAMers (Recognizing America’s Children Act and ENLIST ACT (Encourage New Legalized Immigrants to Start Training).” (August 31, 2017) (Source)

Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA3): “I share President Trump’s sentiment, expressed earlier today, that children should not be punished for the actions of their parents and that ‘we are a nation of opportunity because we are a nation of laws.’ I also applaud Speaker Ryan’s commitment to upholding Congress’s role as the law-writing body within our government and his readiness to craft legislation that deals with the complex legal, security, and humanitarian aspects of immigration. Unfortunately, we are at this point because our previous president grew impatient with constitutional limits and attempted to unilaterally create new law. That fact remains: despite its best intentions, President Obama’s DACA executive order is unconstitutional. President Trump has now given Congress six months to decide on a policy that will allow the DACA order to come to a responsible end.” (September 5, 2017) (Source)

Rep. David Young (R-IA3): “It is now up to Congress to address this matter and other issues related to immigration—from enforcement to employment practices to securing our borders.” (September 5, 2017) (Source)

Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA10): “President Obama’s executive order in 2012 regarding DACA overstepped his constitutional authority and I appreciate that the President has now properly put the authority to pass laws back in the hands of Congress. We know our immigration system is broken. The House and Senate along with the administration must now come together and find common ground that leads to bipartisan solutions that not only address the DACA issue, but also our critical border security and enforcement issues.” (September 5, 2017) (Source)

Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-PA16): “I have had countless discussions with DREAMers in Pennsylvania who are active and positive residents of our commonwealth. I agree with President Trump’s administration that there should be a legislative solution instead of a DHS directive that was never intended to be a permanent fix.” (September 5, 2017) (Source)

Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH3): “In order to ensure this country remains a beacon of hope we must adhere to the Constitution, which empowers Congress to write immigration laws, not the executive branch. Congress has six months to act. This is an opportunity for us to identify needed solutions that are fair and orderly for Dreamers who didn’t choose to break our laws and know no other home than America.” (September 5, 2017) (Source)

Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-AR4): “Congress writes our nation’s laws and President Trump has tasked us with addressing this issue in coming months as he winds down the DACA program. It is my hope that we construct a fair and just legislative solution to this issue that affects many aspects of our society and many people who live here.” (September 5, 2017) (Source)

Rep. Steve Womack (R-AR3): “The issue of DACA-eligible young people is a manifestation of a broken immigration enforcement system. I have a heart for their plight… The President is right; Congress has the responsibility to address this issue and now is the time to do so. With thoughtful debate, jobs can be protected, lawful immigration can be championed, and the proper relief can come for the young people who know only America as their country and who continue to work hard to achieve that American dream.”  (September 5, 2017) (Source)

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY1): “Many find the situation related to minors illegally in our country to be the most challenging. Many of these children involuntarily came to our country very young, have been here for a long time, go through our education system, love our country and are looking to stay here and greatly contribute to our economy and our nation’s future.” (September 5, 2017) (Source)

Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN3): “Our broken immigration system needs to be fixed, because it’s harming our economy and locking out the next generation of innovators. This includes ensuring that young people who came to the United States through no fault of their own and have done nothing wrong are able to be valuable contributors to our country.” (September 6, 2017) (Source)

Rep. Jamie Herrara Beutler (R-WA3): “In his statement today, the president said he does not favor punishing children for the actions of their parents. I agree, and Congress must now act to treat DACA recipients with compassion. The president is not revoking DACA status immediately, but is giving Congress time to provide permanent relief for those who’ve been caught in legal limbo… I believe we can uphold national security, protect opportunities for American citizens, and provide assurance to DACA recipients in Southwest Washington who have done nothing wrong that understand their plight and that they can build a future here in the only country that many of them have ever known.” (September 5, 2017) (Source)

Rep. Mimi Walters (R-CA45): “It is now up to Congress to develop a permanent legislative solution to provide certainty to the young people who were brought to America as children without the proper documents through no fault of their own.  America is the only home most of these young people have ever known and it is unjust to punish them for the actions of their parents.  Congress should work to ensure their residency so that they can continue to contribute to our community and strengthen our Nation.” (September 5, 2017) (Source)

Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL15): “Rolling back the previous administration’s temporary DACA policy puts necessary pressure on Congress to act on illegal immigration.” (September 5, 2017) (Source)

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA49): “The Administration’s decision today 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. I’m eager to get to work on a permanent fix and call on Democrats and Republicans alike to immediately put political posturing aside and let this be a catalyst to achieve long-overdue reforms in this important area of concern.” (September 5, 2017) (Source)

Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM2): “We in New Mexico understand the harmful and damaging effects that temporary patchwork solutions to our nation’s immigration system can have on families. This kind of flawed reform fails to provide certainty and leaves millions with an illusion of hope. Since arriving in Congress, I have fought to make reforms to our nation’s immigration policies so that the system is fair and just for all. The truth is, the current DACA program is a short-term solution that does not achieve these goals. It is only a temporary fix for millions of young adults who have only ever known the United States as a home. I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress for fairness, justice, and family unity, and will fight for a permanent change for DREAMERS that ensures both current and future generations do not face the same challenges and burdens.” (September 5, 2017) (Source)

Rep. Scott Tipton (R-CO3): “While I do not support the unilateral DACA program, I believe Congress must act to develop a compassionate and commonsense solution for the children who were brought to the United States illegally by their parents. These individuals have grown up in the United States and are now upstanding, valued  members of our communities. They should not be punished for a decision that was made by their parents years ago. (September 5, 2017) (Source)

Rep. Jason Lewis (R-MN2): “Federal law-making authority rests with Congress — not the executive branch. I support returning this power designated by the constitution to Congress. President Obama’s executive order skirted Congress’ constitutional authority and made DACA untenable in its current form. It’s important that we debate comprehensive solutions in the next six months and I look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress to address the final status of DACA enrollees.” (September 6, 2017) (Source)

Rep. Scott Taylor (R-VA2): “I believe Congress should create, negotiate, and pass a law protecting those in this stateless limbo, which should contain disincentives to future illegal immigrants from attempting the same and border security measures. There are DACA recipients who are as American as myself. Americans do not punish children for their parents’ sins. Under this Congress and this President we have returned to proper immigration enforcement and significantly reduced border crossings. Now is our time in Congress to lead with justice, mercy, and compassion on this issue.” (September 5, 2017) (Source)

Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-AR2): “In the past, I expressed frustration with President Obama for using his “pen and phone” to govern instead of working with Congress. We have 3 branches of government and it is Congress’ role to create policy. Now, Congress has been asked to come up with a solution within 6 months to help reform our immigration system. These children did not come to America on their own terms, they simply followed their parents. In the coming weeks, I look forward to working with my colleagues to create a permanent solution through the legislative process with input from Kansans in the 2nd District.” (September 5, 2017) (Source)

Former Gov. Haley Barbour and former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, in statement: “The young people who will be affected by today’s decision deserve better than an arbitrary process. To that end, we still believe there is room for consensus on immigration policy, and even room for a legislative solution on DACA. A pairing of policy ideas that strengthen enforcement with a more permanent status for Dreamers could gain broad support, and has the added benefit of being a sound first step. Ultimately, updating our immigration system is going to require legislative action, whether through one comprehensive bill or through a number of incremental changes. The system is too outdated, too broken, and too unresponsive to modern realities to serve anyone’s best interests. Congress has the power to craft a permanent solution. It’s time to act on that power.” (September 5, 2017) (Source)

Former Gov. Mike Huckabee: “DACA is right thing to do but do LEGALLY by Congress. Children shouldn’t be punished for what parents did. Bipartisan opportunity.” (September 1, 2017) (Source)

Former Gov. Jan Brewer: “These people shouldn’t have to live in fear and in the shadows.” (September 5, 2017) (Source)

Senate Republicans

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY): “What I did say is I’m very sympathetic with this particular situation with these youngsters who were brought here at an early age and who have largely grown up here.” (February 2017) (Source)

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX): “I have great sympathy for students brought to the United States at a very young age who have no moral culpability for being in this country in violation of our laws…I continue to believe that our Nation would benefit from the DREAM Act being introduced and debated in committee; amended to address concerns with the bill; and incorporated into a credible immigration reform package that begins with border security and can win the support of the American people.” (December 2010) (Source)

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL): “Then there is the human side, and that is: okay, there is no legal right, but is there not a humanitarian rationale for perhaps allowing some of the people here legally to remain? Because they have been here a long time; because they are good people; because they were brought here as children.” (March 2017) (Source)

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK): “I support the goal of the Dream Act which is to enable children who were brought to the United States by their parents to earn citizenship through service in the armed forces or pursuit of higher education. I do not believe that children are to blame for the decision of their parents to enter or remain in the United States unlawfully. The reality is that many of these children regard America as the only country they ever knew. Some were not even told that they were unlawfully in the United States until it came time for them to apply for college. America should provide these young people with the opportunity to pursue the American dream. They have much to offer America if given the chance.” (2010) (Source)

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO): “There will be a lot of sympathy for kids who were brought here when they were kids. I just think it’s an easy thing to understand.” (2016) (Source) Senator Blunt also “told the Guardian it was important to be ‘thoughtful’ about young undocumented immigrants who ‘have no real connection with the country their parents brought them from.’…‘I think we can do that,’ he said.” (2016) (Source)

Sen. John Thune (R-SD): “I think there’s always sympathy for people who are in a circumstance like that, through no fault of their own.” (2016) (Source)

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO): “I believe members across the aisle can unite and agree that providing these children with some sort of immigration relief is the just and fair thing to do. The children do deserve to have the opportunity to continue the American dream and we, as members of Congress, should have the compassion to provide them with this.” (2014) (Source)

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA): “There are a number of children that have been brought here not of their own accord. And I do support allowing those children some of the freedoms that are here in the United States.” (2014) (Source)

Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS): “I’m supportive of DACA and believe that the humanity aspect of this important… no fault of their own, circumstances beyond their control… DACA has made sense to me.” (2017) (Source)

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME): “It seems to me that if a child is brought here by his parents that that child really didn’t have any say in the decision to come here. I don’t support illegal immigration. But that isn’t the child’s fault.” (2017) (Source)

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY): “If you’re one of the Dreamer kids, I think we can get you permanence to stay and legalize you.” (2017) (Source)

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) said “she isn’t ‘for deporting families and breaking up families.’” (2016) (Source)

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA): “In my judgment, this is a very exceptional case. We have a person that loves his country so much that he wants to serve in the military.” (2000) (Source)

House Republicans

Rep. Bob Goodlatte (VA-6): “These children came here through no fault of their own and many of them know no other home than the United States”. (2013) (Source)

Rep. Paul Ryan (WI-1): “What we have to do is figure out how to have a humane solution to this very legitimate, sincere problem.” (2017) (Source)

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (CA-23): “I would like to work out a situation there because the children were brought across, they were under the age of 18, it was not their issue. They did not come themselves. I think they have a right to do it. We should secure the border, but I think the children we should not hold them liable.” (2017) (Source)

Rep. Martha McSally (AZ-2): “These children were brought here at no fault of their own. In Arizona, there are 57,000 of them. They came forward to the government, they gave their personal information—where they live, their biometric data and fingerprints—they graduate from high school and served in our military.” She said to former Secretary Kelly: “Uncertainty brings fear to my constituents in this position. Can you assure me that they will be protected?” (2017) (Source)

Rep. Doug Lamalfa (CA-1): “One of the great founding principles of our country was that children would not be punished for the mistakes of their parents. It is time to provide an opportunity for legal residence and citizenship for those who were brought to this country as children through no fault of their own, those who know no other place as home. For those who meet certain eligibility standards, and serve honorably in our military or attain a college degree, we will do just that.” (2014) (Source)

Rep. Ken Calvert (CA-42): “I’ve always been sympathetic to the so-called DREAMers, and I would hope in the process of doing the things that we’re doing on immigration that we can work out a reasonable compromise…I don’t think you’re going to see any activity to deport children from the United States.” (2017) (Source)

Rep. Scott Tipton (CO-3): “Instead of acting unilaterally, the president should have worked with Congress to enact real immigration reforms to provide options for children who had no say in being brought to the United States at a young age.” (2017). (Source)

Rep. Ted Yoho (FL-3): “I’ve met some of them. I’ve sat with them. I’ve talked to them. We’re in a tough situation. We’ve got these kids — some of them are valedictorians of their schools. They’ve been here all of their life. There has to be a way to work through this.” (2017) (Source)

Rep. Jody Hice (GA-10) said “Congress and the administration should bring ‘a great deal of compassion and sensitivity’ to the plight of people who were brought illegally into this country as children, and who have some protection under the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.” (2017) (Source)

Rep. Raul Labrador (ID-1) told The Huffington Post later that he “would support a bill to give a path to citizenship to Dreamers so long as other conditions, such as additional border security, were met.” (2013) (Source)

Rep. Rodney Davis (IL-13): “I truly believe that anybody who is willing to fight for our country and came here through no fault of their own as a child ought to be given a special place in line to legally become an American citizen.” (2016) (Source)

Rep. Susan Brooks (IN-5): “Lastly, DREAMERS, children who have not committed crimes and whose parents entered the country illegally, present a difficult issue for all of us. I am committed on working towards finding a compassionate resolution to their immigration status and that of their families.” (Source)

Rep. Dave Reichert (WA-8): “What we need today is to find a way to educate and retain bright and talented students who apply themselves, work hard and wish to contribute as productive members of our society. That is what makes our country great, and that’s why Democrats, Independents, and Republicans all must work together to develop solutions that will make this goal a reality. We must treat with compassion, respect and dignity those people who are currently living here as the federal government works to develop those solutions.” (2010) (Source)

Rep. Dan Newhouse (WA-4): “From our founding, America has been a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws…Our own communities in Central Washington are a testament to the contributions of immigrants to the fabric of American society. It is the sole responsibility of Congress to write laws that provide a humane solution to our broken immigration system…I am proud to join my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to protect children brought here through no fault of their own. These children and young adults deserve stability here in the U.S. while Congress comes together on long term immigration reform.” (2017) (Source)

Rep. Chris Stewart (UT-2): “We cannot abandon these young men and women who have arrived here, through no fault of their own, and are currently seeking to further their education and lives in the United States.” (2017) (Source)

Rep. Blake Farenthold (TX-27) “referred to ‘people facing deportation that were brought here as very young children’ as ‘the victims,’ according to the Gonzales Cannon. ‘We’ve spent all this money educating them; we need their productivity,’ he said.” (2013) (Source)

Rep. Lamar Smith (TX-21): “We need to address the status of children who were brought to the U.S. illegally at a young age through no fault of their own. They should not be blamed for their parents’ actions.” (2013) (Source)

Rep. Bill Flores (TX-17): “What would be better would be for Congress to pass a path to citizenship for Dreamers. . . . Then you don’t need DACA. . . . Look, if you take someone who was brought here when they were 2 years old and say, ‘Now we’re going to ship you to Venezuela,’ they’d be lost. They’re Americans. We’ve educated them. Why not make Americans out of them? Legal Americans.” (2017) (Source)

Rep. Mac Thornberry (TX-13): “There are instances in which a child is brought into the United States illegally and does not discover it until it is time to apply for college or a job…We should find a compassionate way to deal with such situations that does not undermine the rule of law or encourage others to violate our laws.”(2011) (Source)

Rep. Joe Barton (TX-6): “They are Americans and we need to acknowledge that and find a way, to those that wish to be a part of the American dream for opportunity, to make them legal.” (2014) (Source)

Rep. Ted Poe (TX-2): “The kids that are here and getting older, who are here through no fault of their own, we have to make sure they have the opportunity to get legal status.” (2013) (Source)

Rep. Roger Marshall (R-KS): “We’ve said that we want to support DREAMers and ask for President Trump to have some compassion.” (March 2017) (Source)

Rep. Trey Gowdy (SC-4): “The issue of how to treat children brought to this country is not new. Congress has considered it since at least 2001. But it is a new issue for this Congress and several members of this Subcommittee. We all view children as a special, protected class. We have all witnessed acts of heroism where total strangers risk and sacrifice their lives for other people’s children. We admire teachers and other professionals who dedicate their lives to teaching and helping other people’s children. Children and the issues that impact their lives unite us like nothing else. And because children are a special class, the law treats children differently in almost every regard. When children wander into neighborhood yards, we don’t call that trespassing. When children cry and yell and scream at restaurants or on airplanes, we don’t call that a violation of the noise ordinance. When children eat a grape at the grocery store or eat a piece of candy waiting in line before mom or dad pays for it we don’t have them arrested for petty larceny. Children can’t sign contracts, vote, purchase certain items, or even work in some instances because the law treats children differently. Even when children do get in trouble legally the system is completely different – even the purpose of the system is different. The purpose of the adult justice system is to punish. The purpose of the juvenile justice system is to rehabilitate and restore. The law treats children differently for a variety of reasons including the fact that children cannot form the intent necessary to violate the law and intent is a necessary element of every criminal offense. Simply put, children who were brought here haven’t committed a crime, misdemeanor or otherwise. The adults may have, but the children have not – and that is not an expression of compassion, that is the execution and the application of the law. There are an estimated 1.35 million undocumented children under the age of 18 and an estimated 1.6 million between the ages of 18 and 24 in this country. In recent months I have heard from many organizations and individuals regarding legislation aimed at granting a legal status for this subset of undocumented immigrants. Children from South Carolina and children as far away from South Carolina as California, when my good friend Jeff Denham was gracious enough to let me visit him in his district. Jeff, I remember a young lady at your town hall coming up to us afterward. For virtually all of her life, this young lady grew up thinking she was an American citizen. She never knew any differently. She has led a virtuous life with good grades, hard work, community involvement, active in her church, loves her family – exactly the kind of person we want to be our fellow citizen. She was polite and persuasive. She just had one question: ‘what country am I supposed to go back to? This is the only country I have ever known.’ So while there is obvious openness with respect to children who have done nothing wrong, those same equities do not apply in the same regard to the remainder of the 11 million undocumented immigrants.” (2013) (Source)

Rep. Charlie Dent (PA-15): “We have to deal responsibly with children who came to this country, no fault of their own, and know no other place. We know they are not going to be deported and that we’re going to have to deal with them in a responsible and humane manner.” (2017) (Source)

Rep. Ryan Costello (PA-6) voted against an amendment to roll back DACA and “said it ‘sends the wrong message’ and that rolling back the program now, after many have come forward to be part of it, risks penalizing those who have come forward to obtain legal status.” (2015) (Source)

Rep. Tom MacArthur (NJ-3): “I want to see the Republican party show compassion, and at the same time restore the rule of law. I think it’s important that we have a tough but fair process where people that have been brought here can earn their citizenship.” (2015) (Source)

Rep. John Katko (NY-24): “I broke with my party today to oppose an effort that would reverse the president’s decision to defer deportations of undocumented children.” (2015) (Source)

Rep. Tom Reed (NY-23): “Reed said that people should be encouraged by comments Trump made yesterday where he said the DACA program would be handled ‘with heart.’” (2017) (Source)

Rep. John Faso (NY-19): “Children should not be punished for an action taken years ago, over which they had no say. I’m joining colleagues from both sides of the aisle to support legislation that will permit undocumented young people to live, work, and study in the United States without the threat of deportation or being denied work authorizations that allow them to contribute to our communities and economy.” (2017) (Source)

Rep. Steve Pearce (NM-2) said “‘I’m sensitive to the plight’ of undocumented youth…Pearce said his views are not iron-clad, and that he is willing to change his mind on the DREAM Act, as well as a path to citizenship for other undocumented immigrants who do not qualify for the DREAM Act—particularly those that have been in the country for decades and have stayed out of trouble.” (2013) (Source)

Rep. Peter King (NY-2): “I have said that I hope the Dreamers who obeyed the law, have gone to school and/or served the military get a path to citizenship. ” (2017) (Source)

Rep. Chris Collins (NY-27): “I don’t think any of us (I know I’m not) are looking to deport somebody who came here as a 3 year old and they’re now grown, the DACA kids as you say.” (2017) (Source)

Other Republicans

Former Rep. Robert Dold (IL-10): “Last year, I had the honor of bringing a Round Lake Dreamer named Erika Martinez to the State of the Union address. Every day that Congress fails to act on immigration reform, families like Erika’s are forced to continue living in fear of being torn apart. Although divisive, partisan rhetoric may make for better TV, today’s forum is proof that there is bipartisan support to move immigration reform forward.” (2016) (Source)

Rush Limbaugh, radio host: “We’re talking 750,000 DREAMers, kids… Look, this is a-no-win. Nobody’s gonna win anything by deporting a bunch of kids that we let in.” (2017) (Source)

Rev. Pat Robertson, TV host: “They have a 3-year-old child who wasn’t born here, who has lived his whole life here, he is not a citizen. That makes no sense. And they’re certainly not criminals. …They’re teaching kindergarten, for heaven’s sake. They ought to stay. They enrich our society. They bless our society, and what have we got to lose?” (2017) (Source)

Erick Erickson, radio host: “While some of his supporters will not be happy, I think it is the right thing to do. President Trump…is keeping President Obama’s DACA program rules in place for [those] who came here as children and only know the United States as home.” (2017) (Source)

Newt Gingrich, former House Speaker: “Why pick a fight over this group of people who have a lot of emotional stories to tell? It’s not realistic. It’s not practical.” (2017) (Source)

Mike Huckabee, former AR Governor: “I don’t believe that it is a just thing to punish someone who had nothing to do with the breaking of the law. What I want to do is see, what can we do to put that person in a position where they do abide by the law and become a citizen? I would like that person to become a very generous tax-paying citizen rather than somebody who is going to take taxes away from the rest of us.” (2015) (Source) Huckabee also said: “When a kid comes to his country, and he’s four years old and he had no choice in it — his parents came illegally. He still, because he is in this state, it’s the state’s responsibility – in fact, it is the state’s legal mandate – to make sure that child is in school. So let’s say that kid goes to school. That kid is in our school from kindergarten through the 12th grade. He graduates as valedictorian because he’s a smart kid and he works his rear end off and he becomes the valedictorian of the school. The question is: Is he better off going to college and becoming a neurosurgeon or a banker or whatever he might become, and becoming a taxpayer, and in the process having to apply for and achieve citizenship, or should we make him pick tomatoes? I think it’s better if he goes to college and becomes a citizen.” (2011) (Source)

Charles Krauthammer, political commentator said regarding a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers: “That’s exactly logical.” (2017) (Source)

Chuck Hagel, former Defense Secretary and Senator (R-NE): “Mr. President, today, I rise in support of the DREAM Act, introduced by Senators Durbin, Lugar, and myself. Each year, thousands of hard-working students who graduate from American high schools are unable to attend college or serve in the military because of their illegal immigration status.” (Source)

Mitt Romney, former MA Governor: “The people who have received the special visa that the president has put in place, which is a two-year visa, should expect that the visa would continue to be valid. I’m not going to take something that they’ve purchased. Before those visas have expired we will have the full immigration reform plan that I’ve proposed.” (2012) (Source)

George W. Bush, former President, said “those who’ve vested time, effort in US would ‘be a really good citizen.’” (2017) (Source)

Jeb Bush, former FL Governor: “DREAM Act kids should have a path to citizenship.” (2015) (Source)

Colin Powell, former Secretary of State: “America is going to be a minority nation in one more generation. Our minorities are not getting educated well enough now. Fifty percent of our minority kids are not finishing high school. We’ve got to invest in education. We should use the DREAM Act as one way to do it.” (2010) (Source)

Grover Norquist, Founder of Americans for Tax Reform, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former CBO Director, and others  joined a letter saying “we have come together to announce our support for…a national movement providing college scholarships to thousands of highly motivated DREAMers who cannot access federal financial aid to fund a college education. As civic leaders, we need to support these undocumented immigrant students in getting a college education that will help prepare them to be our future civic and business leaders and professionals.”(2014) (Source)

Alfonso Aguilar, Executive Director of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles: “I support the DREAM Act.” (2010) (Source)

Eric Cantor, former House Majority Leader said “A good place to start is with the kids…One of the great founding principles of our country was that children would not be punished for the mistakes of their parents. It is time to provide an opportunity for legal residence and citizenship for those who were brought to this country as children and who know no other home.” (2013) (Source)

John Boehner, former House Speaker: “These children were brought here of no accord of their own, and frankly they’re in a very difficult position and I think many of our members believe that this issue needs to be addressed.” (2013) (Source)

Michael Chertoff, former DHS Secretary: “A critical issue facing the incoming administration is the status of the so-called DREAMers who have applied for protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. We agree that those who were brought to this country while they were children and have grown up in this country, are in school or the military, or are working productively, are deserving of some differential form of protection.” (2017) (Source)

Daniel Garza, President of the LIBRE Initiative: “It will be up to Trump to embolden a majority of Republican members in the House to drive a permanent solution, otherwise we will face these situations over and over.” (2017) (Source)

John Kasich, OH Governor tweeted: “Applaud @POTUS for reversing course & keeping their dreams alive. America must remain a beacon of opportunity.” (2017) (Source)

Glenn Beck, TV host: “Through no fault of their own, [these unaccompanied children] are caught in political crossfire. The churches have asked us if we could bring teddy bears and soccer balls, so we’ve loaded up a whole tractor-trailer of nothing but teddy bears and soccer balls. And then I’m going to go serve breakfast and lunch, and I’m going to help unload these trucks, hot meals for 3,000.” (2014) (Source)

Max Boot, political commentator: “This would not only offer a welcome path toward citizenship for many promising young people but also might ease some of the recruitment problems that Army has been facing of late.” (2007) (Source)

David Chu, Bush administration official: “If their parents are undocumented or in immigration limbo, most of these young people have no mechanism to obtain legal residency even if they have lived most of their lives here. Yet many of these young people may wish to join the military, and have the attributes needed ‐ education, aptitude, fitness, and moral qualifications.” (2011) (Source)

Rick Garnett, Dean of Notre Dame Law School: “In my view, it is unfortunate and unhelpful that the political base, and leadership, of the Republican Party seems (for now, in any event) to have (in contrast with the approach taken in the past by, e.g.,President Bush and Sen. McCain) set itself against this measure, and others like it.  That the support for measures like this offered by some might be cynical and calculating, they (the measures) still strike me as sound and humane steps to take.” (2010) (Source)

Bret Stephens, political commentator: “The decision would have reversed one of Donald Trump’s ugly campaign threats to deport these kids, whose only crime was to have been brought to the United States by their parents.” (2017) (Source)

Jennifer Rubin, political commentator: “Graham has resisted the siren call of xenophobia and called for a humane, realistic approach to young people brought here as children. In reminding the country and his party that dreamers are decent, hard-working young people who are entirely blameless in this situation and who were invited to come out of the shadows by President Barack Obama, Graham has acted courageously.” (2017) (Source)

Bill O’Reilly, former TV host, said that while he thought DACA was “‘illegal,’ he also thinks people like Vargas should have a pathway towards citizenship.’I agree with you. I think there should be a pathway for you.’” (2012) (Source)

Sean Hannity, TV host: “You create a pathway for those people that are here — you don’t say you’ve got to go home. And that is a position that I’ve evolved on. Because, you know what, it’s got to be resolved. The majority of people here, if some people have criminal records you can send them home; but if people are here, law-abiding, participating for years, their kids are born here, you know, first secure the border, pathway to citizenship, done.” (2012) (Source)

Rick Perry, Energy Secretary, former TX Governor: “If you say that we should not educate children who have come into our state for no other reason than they have been brought there by no fault of their own, I don’t think you have a heart.” (2011) (Source)

Carly Fiorina, former Presidential candidate and CEO of HP: “I would support the DREAM Act because I do not believe that we can punish children who through no fault of their own are here trying to live the American dream.” (2010) (Source)

Jon Huntsman, U.S. Ambassador to Russia, former UT Governor: “I believe that young kids when they’re dragged here to the United States have no say over their journey. They have no say over their destiny. And we either have a two-tiered bifurcated system or we allow, somehow, people to achieve the American dream.” (2011) (Source)

Lou Dobbs, TV host: “There is a legitimate national interest in a carve out– an accommodation for children of illegal immigrants who are here with no volition of their own. I think that requires special consideration and is entirely appropriate.” (2010) (Source)

Ana Navarro, Republican strategist tweeted: “I support Dream Act. Hope this promise really implemented. Obama raised hopes, not delivered many times. Wrong to play politics w/emotions.” (2012) (Source)

Sheldon Adelson, founder, chair, CEO of Las Vegas Sands: “I’m pro-Dream Act, I’m pro the Dream Act. My parents were immigrants to this country. What are we going to do ? Listen, I’m sure a lot of my parents generation …..snuck onto the ship and they came into the country.” (2012) (Source)