On Tuesday, September 5, the Trump administration on Tuesday formally announced the end of DACA -- a program that had protected nearly 800,000 young undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children from deportation.
Here's what local lawmakers had to say about it:
Representative Cheri Bustos --
"I strongly disagree with the Trump Administration's decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program rather than pursuing comprehensive immigration reform. Splitting up families and deporting hundreds of thousands of productive members of our society who have lived here since they were small children does nothing to solve the immigration challenges our country faces.
"While I think Congress must take action to reverse this decision, I am once again deeply disappointed that President Trump has decided to proactively pursue a divisive agenda rather than working across the aisle to help solve our nation's challenges."
Senator Tammy Duckworth --
"Make no mistake - this decision is not about 'rule of law,' as Attorney General Sessions claims. This is a gut-wrenching betrayal of American values that leaves nearly 800,000 of our neighbors vulnerable to deportation and tears families and communities apart.
"DREAMers and DACA recipients are doctors, teachers, students, and Servicemembers. They have mortgages and jobs. They know only one nation: the United States, which is where they were raised. To end a program that allowed these patriots to come out of the shadows and more fully contribute to this country is irresponsible and heartless. Congress must act immediately and pass legislation to make DACA the law of the land."
Senator Dick Durbin --
"In my first conversation with President Trump on Inauguration Day, I thanked him for the positive things he had said about the Dreamers. He looked me in the eye and said: “Don't worry. We are going to take care of those kids.”
Despite many of the terrible immigration policies this Administration has put forward, I have always held out the hope that President Trump would keep his word and "take care" of the Dreamers. After all, the President told America, “we love the Dreamers.”
But today’s announcement from Attorney General Sessions was cold, harsh, threatening, and showed little respect, let alone love, for these Dreamers.
Starting this countdown clock will require Congress to act fast to stop rolling mass deportations of hundreds of thousands of young people—students, teachers, doctors, engineers, first responders, servicemembers, and more. Families will be torn apart and America will lose many of our best and brightest unless Republicans join with Democrats to right this wrong immediately. I first introduced the Dream Act sixteen years ago to ensure these young people could stay here, in the only country they’ve ever known. Now Congress must act on this bipartisan bill, and act now. These families cannot wait."
Senator Joni Ernst --
"America has been and always will be a nation of immigrants, but we are also a nation of laws. However, many young undocumented children were brought here by parents, caretakers, and so forth through no fault of their own. As I have stated many times before, we must show compassion toward these children. While I do not support giving them citizenship, we must identify and pursue a measured approach that addresses their unique situation, but also respects the importance of our immigration laws and discourages future illegal immigration.
“It is now incumbent upon Congress to act. We have an opportunity to solve this issue, work to secure the border, and modernize the legal immigration system.”
Senator Chuck Grassley --
"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. President Trump should continue to work with Congress to pass reforms through the legislative process that encourage lawful immigration. In the meantime, I expect that the Administration's Immigration enforcement priorities will continue to target the thousands of criminals ahead of those who have otherwise abided by our laws."