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WA lawmakers, locals respond to Trump's decision to end DACA

WA lawmakers respond to Trump's decision to end DACA

TRI-CITIES, Wash. -- Washington lawmakers and locals are responding to the announcement of President Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA).

“There was a lot of anger, and then I took my dog for a long walk,” said retired teacher Steve Ard. “So I’m in a better place than I was this morning.”

Trump has ordered an end to DACA--or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals--which is a program that protects child immigrants from deportation and grants them work permits.

“As a retired teacher, I worked with a lot of those kids, and they're the best of the best,” Ard said.

The announcement means the Department of Homeland Security will stop accepting new DACA applications--but the President has called for a six-month window to allow Congress to replace the program with a more permanent law.

“Asking Congress to step up is a good thing,” Ard said. “But I wish they could keep these individuals protected while congress takes care of it.”

Even now that he's retired, Steve keeps in touch with many of his students.

“I have a young person who is like a daughter, her and her husband are both DACA recipients,” he said. “I couldn't care for them more if they were my own children.”

He says DACA's end is not only stirring up anger, but fear for uncertain futures.

“I'm not happy,” Ard said. “I don't like taking away people's protection and then leaving them at the whim of the political climate.”

So he's been calling his local representatives--pleading with them to pass a law that protects his friends and colleagues.

“Letting these DACA kids know, they're not out there by themselves,” Ard said. “There's other people who believe in them and are willing to support them.”

The Department of Homeland Security reports current DACA holders will be able to keep their status and work permits until their DACA documents expire. And people whose status expires in the next six months will be able to renew their permits in order to give congress sufficient time to pass legislation.

Senator Patty Murray said she vows to work for a solution for DREAMers in a Sept. 5 statement.

“I hope my Republican colleagues in Congress will join me to reverse President Trump’s shameful decision, to find a permanent solution for DREAMers that allows them to stay in the only country they've known as home, and to work toward comprehensive immigration reform to finally address our broken immigration system,” Sen. Murray said.

A statement from the Washington state senator said Murray sent a letter with 41 of her Democratic Senate colleagues to President Donald Trump urging him to use his executive authority to protect the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal also responded to Trump’s decision Tuesday in a statement, which called for “colleagues on both sides of the aisle to immediately pass stand-alone legislation to protect Dreamers.”

The statement outlines the DACA program, and the impact it has made in Washington state, saying the program has provided relief from deportation to nearly 800,000 young Americans, including close to 18,000 in the state.

Full statements from Murray and Jayapal can be found here and here.

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