DNC: Trump, Republicans Own DACA Decision

Sep 5, 2017

Commentary: Jeff Sessions tried to find every legal excuse in the book to rescind DACA, but let’s be clear --  Donald Trump and his Republican party have long pushed hateful policies and ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program today in one of their latest tactics to promote discrimination. Time and again, Republicans and Trump have doubled-down on radical policies that would force hundreds of thousands back into the shadows and rip them away from their families and communities.

While Democrats continue to push the DREAM Act and comprehensive immigration reform, Republicans are working to kick nearly 800,000 people out of our country. DREAMers are our friends, neighbors, students, teachers, entrepreneurs, workers and activists. Trump and Congress must immediately work to fix our broken immigration system and not shatter the lives of families across the country.

See below for what Donald Trump and Republicans have said about immigrants and DACA:


Trump: “When Mexico Sends Its People, They’re Not Sending Their Best…They’re Sending People That Have Lots Of Problems, And They’re Bringing Those Problems With Us. They’re Bringing Drugs. They’re Bringing Crime. They’re Rapists.” TRUMP: “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people. It’s coming from more than Mexico. It’s coming from all over South and Latin America, and it’s coming probably -- probably from the Middle East. But we don’t know.” [Presidential Announcement Speech, New York NY, 6/16/15]

Trump On Deporting Families: “We Have To Keep The Families Together… They Have To Go.” TODD: “You'll rescind that one, too? You'll rescind the Dream Act executive order, the DACA?” TRUMP: “We have to make a whole new set of standards. And when people come in, they have to come in--” TODD: “You're going to split up families. You're going to deport children?” TRUMP: “Chuck -- no, no. No, we're going to keep the families together. We have to keep the families together.” TODD: “But you're going to kick them out?” TRUMP: “They have to go.” [Meet The Press, NBC, 8/16/15]

Trump On Undocumented Immigrants: “We Are Going To Have A Tremendous Drive To Throw Out All Of The Terrible People, The Gang Members, And The Drug People, And People That Are Heading Up Drug Cartels. We Are Going To Get Them Out. The First Day I Am In Office, I’m Going To Authorize Get Them Out, And That Could Be Millions Of People. We’re Getting Them Out 100%.” TRUMP: “I don’t think so. I think it’s going to be very strong. We are building a wall. We’re going to make Mexico pay for the wall. They make a fortune off our country, and believe me, they can pay for it, and they will pay for it. It will be a very powerful wall, a very strong wall. We want people to come into our country, but they have to come in legally, through our legal process. We are going to have a tremendous drive to throw out all of the terrible people, the gang members, and the drug people, and people that are heading up drug cartels. We are going to get them out. The first day I am in office, I’m going to authorize get them out, and that could be millions of people. We’re getting them out 100%. We are going to have tremendous security at the border, and then we are going to see what happens. We are going to go through a process, and we’re going to see what happens. We are going to get millions of people that should not be here, all of the crime. We have such tremendous crime. Those people are going out day one.” [WMTW (ABC 8 Portland ME), 8/25/16]

Trump: “We Are Going To Deport Many People, Many, Many People.” COOPER: “Right, but he was mocked for saying that, look, you can't deport 11 million people and it now seems like, I know you're not really focusing –“ TRUMP: “First, I want to see what's going to happen. We are going to deport many people, many, many people.” [Anderson Cooper 360, CNN, 8/25/16]

Trump: “First Thing, First Hour I'm Going To Authorize Get Rid Of All Of The Drug Lords And The Gang Members And All Of The People That Are Here Illegally That Shouldn't Be And Committing Tremendous Crime” With “Very Little Due Process.” TRUMP: “I never talked about dragging people out of their homes, Bill. I never talked about that. Look, I mean, just so you understand. We are going to have a very strong border. People are going to come into our country but they're going to come in legally. But we're going to have the wall. We're going to have -- by the way Mexico is going to pay for the wall 100 percent. We're going to have a wall. Mexico is going to pay for the wall. We're going to have a strong border. Border patrol 16500 agents endorsed me because they understand we are going to get rid of first thing, first hour I'm going to authorize get rid of all of the drug lords and the gang members and all of the people that are here illegally that shouldn't be and committing tremendous crime, like unbelievable crime.” O’REILLY: “You can't just do executive order.” TRUMP: “Very little due process.” O’REILLY: “No, but there's some.” TRUMP: “Bill, I think there's very little, okay, but I think there's very little. And the police, the local police know who all of them are. And we're going to get rid of them.” [O’Reilly Factor, Fox News, 9/6/16]

Trump On His Mass Deportation Plan: “You're Going To Have A Deportation Force.” TRUMP: “You're going to have a deportation force, and you're going to do it humanely and you're going to bring the country -- and, frankly, the people, because you have some excellent, wonderful people, some fantastic people that have been here for a long period of time.” [Morning Joe, MSNBC, 11/11/15]


2016: GOP Platform Declared That DACA And DAPA “Must Be Immediately Rescinded By A Republican President.” “The executive amnesties of 2012 and 2014 are a direct violation of federal law and usurp the powers of Congress as outlined in Article I of the Constitution. These unlawful amnesties must be immediately rescinded by a Republican president. In a time of terrorism, drug cartels, human trafficking, and criminal gangs, the presence of millions of unidentified individuals in this country poses grave risks to the safety and sovereignty of the United States. Our highest priority, therefore, must be to secure our borders and all ports of entry and to enforce our immigration laws.” [Republican Party Platform, 2016]


Rubio On DACA: “The 2012 Order Has To Come To End At Some Point. That Executive Order Will Expire At The End Of This Presidency … That Cannot Be The Permanent Policy Of The United States. I Think It Was Wrong To Make That Decision In The First Place.”  “While the Florida Republican said he does not believe Congress should simply undo the existing temporary deportation deferments granted under DACA, he made clear the program must be terminated. ‘The 2012 order has to come to end at some point. That executive order will expire at the end of this presidency … that cannot be the permanent policy of the United States. I think it was wrong to make that decision in the first place,’ Rubio said during a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor.” [Christian Science Monitor Breakfast, 1/21/15; Buzzfeed, 1/21/15]


Rand Paul Supported Legislation Ending DACA, Which Would Have Effectively Restarted The Deportation Of Young People Who’d Lived In The U.S. For Years. “Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said in an interview published Thursday that he supports legislation ending the president’s program to defer deportation for undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children…More than 550,000 undocumented immigrants (so-called Dreamers) have taken advantage of DACA. The program is popular in immigrant communities, and its repeal would effectively restart deportations of young people who have lived in the United States for years.” [Huffington Post, 8/21/14]


Ted Cruz Introduced Legislation That Would Defund And Repeal President Obama’s Executive Order On Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals (DACA). “U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, today introduced legislation to prevent the Obama Administration from using any taxpayer funds to expand DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and from continuing to lawlessly grant amnesty and work permits to new immigrants who enter the country illegally. He also outlined guiding principles that Congress should keep in mind when considering reforms.” [Press Release, Office of Senator Cruz, 7/17/14]


McConnell Said That Obama Taking Unilateral Action On Immigration Was “Like Waving A Red Flag In Front Of A Bull.” ANGLE: “But Republican leaders issued a warning about unilateral action.” MCCONNELL: “It's like waving a red flag in front of a bull to say if you guys don't do what I want, I'm going to do it on my own.” ANGLE: “McConnell says that would poison the well for any serious effort to pass immigration reform in Congress -- Bret.” [Special Report with Bret Baier, Fox News, 11/5/14]


Cornyn Said There Needed To Be “A Targeted Way To Address And Defund” The Implementation Of Obama’s “Unconstitutional Executive Action” On Immigration. “Senate GOP leaders also have signaled a reluctance to hold hostage an integral part of the nation's security apparatus in a fight over Obama's unilateral immigration policies, however unconstitutional Obama critics say they may be. ‘A targeted way to try to address and defund that implementation of his unconstitutional executive action is something I think we need to do,’ said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, the Senate Majority Whip, appearing Sunday on CBS's Face the Nation. ‘But we're not going to take any chances with the homeland.’” [Houston Chronicle, 1/15/15]


Blunt Said It Wasn’t Fair To Say That He Supported Obama’s Executive Actions On Immigration. MR. RUSSERT: “So, Senator, is it fair to say then that you support the president's order, but you don't support the use of executive power to obtain it?” SEN. BLUNT: “No, it's not fair to say that. I don't -- I don't support the use of the executive power to obtain it, and I think what Marco Rubio has said -- and I'm not sure what the rest of that quote would have been -- but every other time I've heard him make that quote, he's said, and this kind of thing makes it harder to really go back and solve the problem. Anytime you complicate the regular system by throwing something in that's outside the Constitution, outside the way laws are made, you don't make it easier to solve this problem in the future. You make it harder to solve this problem in the future.” MR. RUSSERT: “So very quickly then, you don't support the order then? You do not support the order?” SEN. BLUNT: “No, I don't support the order. I don't support the order.” [The Daily Rundown, MSNBC, 6/19/12]


John Thune On President Obama’s Executive Action On Immigration: “It Was Unconstitutional ... And Illegal.” “‘The activist community obviously is very adamantly opposed to what the president's executive action did. It was unconstitutional ... and illegal, and so you know, they want to see, I think, Congress battle the White House over that,’ South Dakota GOP Sen. John Thune said. ‘The fact that a lot of people are here for that, perhaps shapes a little bit the discussion.’” [Roll Call, 2/26/15]

Thune Seemed Open To Gutting The Obama Administration’s 2012 DACA Program In Exchange For Border Funds. “After the briefing, South Dakota Sen. John Thune, the No. 3 in GOP leadership, seemed open to the Cruz idea to gut the administration’s 2012 program in exchange for border funds. ‘People are discussing the wisdom of that being part of the solution,’ Thune said. ‘Reversing that decision is going to be pretty fundamental to changing the … message that we’re sending to some of those countries.’” [Politico, 7/18/14]


Jeb Bush, Asked Whether He Would Undo President Obama’s Executive Actions On Immigration, Responded “The DACA and DAPA? Yes I would.” “Bush also said he would undo President Obama's executive action on immigration. ‘The DACA and DAPA? Yes I would,’ he said. ‘It’s possible that by the time the next president arrives the courts will have overturned those because this concept of prosecutorial discretion, which is what he’s used as the basis for these executive orders, is to look at cases on a case-by-case basis and he’s had millions of people basically by the stroke of a pen be given temporary status. I think the better answer is to fix the immigration problem, to solve it the regular order way, which is to go to Congress, have a proposal, work on a bipartisan fashion to fix a broken immigration system.’” [Tampa Bay Times,4/21/15]


Christie Pledged To Reverse Obama’s Executive Orders On Immigration “Right Away” And Called Them Illegal. “Christie called for an ‘intelligent conversation’ on the problem of illegal immigration, criticizing President Obama for failing to find common ground on the issue. ‘You don’t build consensus through executive order,’ he said, referring to Obama’s executive order on DACA and DAPA. If elected president, Christie vowed to reverse Obama’s executive orders ‘right away,’ calling his actions ‘illegal.’”  [Breitbart, 5/19/16]


Rick Perry Said President Obama “Arbitrarily” Granted Amnesty To Millions Of Illegal Immigrants In Response To His Executive Order, Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals. “Gov. Rick Perry released a statement regarding the Obama Administration's immigration announcement: ‘The Obama Administration's election-year tactic to bypass Congress and arbitrarily grant amnesty to potentially millions of illegal immigrants is another example of its blatant disregard for our Constitution, our rule of law and our democratic process.” [Press Release, Office of Governor Perry, 6/15/12]


Jindal: “I Think That We Have Got To Stop All The Unconstitutional Executive Orders, The End-Runs Around The Law That This President Has Done.”JINDAL: “Look, I think that we have got to stop all the unconstitutional executive orders, the end-runs around the law that this president has done. He may not like the law, but his job is not to change the law. Congress, we have a lot of folks running for office saying ‘give me a Republican majority and I will reign in this president.’ I am disappointed they did not do that.   I am glad the courts at least for now have suspended some of his illegal executive orders, but obviously that is still on appeal. At the end of the day it is not complicated. They keep talking about comprehensive bills, comprehensive this or that. They need to secure our borders. That is what they keep telling us they are going to do, that is what the American people want, if the president wants to do something constructive, that is what he needs to do.” [Realclearpolitics, 6/22/15]


2015: 218 House Republicans Voted For An Amendment That Defunded Implementation Of DACA.  [House Vote #208, 113th Congress, 1/14/15]

2013: 221 House Republicans Voted For An Amendment That Banned Implementation Of DACA.  [House Vote #208, 113th Congress, 6/6/13]

2015: Reps. Paul Ryan, Kevin McCarthy, Steve Scalise And Cathy McMorris Rodgers Voted For An Amendment That Banned Implementation Of DACA.  [House Vote #208, 113th Congress, 1/14/15]

2013: Reps. Paul Ryan, Kevin McCarthy, Steve Scalise And Cathy McMorris Rodgers Voted For An Amendment That Banned Implementation Of DACA.  [House Vote #208, 113th Congress, 6/6/13]


Paul Ryan Called President Obama Executive Actions On Immigration A “Threat To Self-Government Itself.” “President Obama’s executive amnesty represents a ‘threat’ to America’s very system of government, according to House Speaker Paul Ryan. ‘The Constitution is clear: Presidents don’t write laws, Congress does,’ Ryan said Monday ahead of oral arguments before the Supreme Court in United States v. Texas. ‘Presidents may disagree with the laws, but they are not free to ignore those laws and have unelected bureaucrats write new ones.’ ‘This is a threat to self-government itself,’ Ryan added.” [Breitbart, 4/18/16]

Paul Ryan Said The House Would Vote To Allow The Chamber To File An Amicus Brief Regarding The SCOTUS Case That Challenged Obama’s Executive Immigration Actions. “House Speaker Paul Ryan announced the House will vote soon on legislation authorizing the chamber to file an amicus brief in the case pending before the Supreme Court challenging President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration. ‘This is a very extraordinary step. In fact it's never been done before but this executive amnesty is a direct attack on the Congress' Article 1 powers under our Constitution,’ Ryan told reporters on Capitol Hill on Tuesday.” [Politico, 3/1/16]

2010: Ryan Voted Against The Dream Act, Which Would Have Protected Certain Undocumented Immigrants Brought To The U.S. As Children From Deportation. “In 2010, Ryan voted against the Dream Act, which would have halted deportations for qualified illegal immigrants brought to the country as children.” [The Hill,10/27/15]


Kevin McCarthy On President Obama’s Executive Action On Immigration: “America Is A Country Of Laws, And Our Constitution Does Not Grant The President The Authority To Legalize Millions Of Immigrants With The Stroke Of A Pen.” “House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) released the following statement on the President’s executive action on illegal immigration: … ‘America is a country of laws, and our Constitution does not grant the President the authority to legalize millions of immigrants with the stroke of a pen. Not only is this action wrong, it does absolutely nothing to solve the underlying problems of our open border and broken immigration system. In fact, it may exacerbate the problem. The President’s action is a prime example of Washington cynicism.’” [Press Release, Office of the Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, 11/20/14]

McCarthy Supported An Effort That Allowed The House To File An Amicus Brief Regarding The SCOTUS Case That Challenged Obama’s Executive Immigration Actions.  “Shortly after President Obama announced his immigration action, dozens of states filed a lawsuit against the administration. The case, United States v. Texas, has made its way to the Supreme Court, which recognized the gravity of the situation and determined to study whether the president violated the constraints of his Article II powers. To push back against the president and restore a proper separation of powers, the House is taking an unprecedented step. We will authorize the speaker of the House to file an amicus brief on behalf of the House of Representatives, sending the Court a clear message that this is more than an ordinary political fight. With our vote, the House will make it clear that we think what the president has done directly infringes on Congress's Article I powers and undermines our representative republic.” [Press Release, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, 3/17/16]


Scalise Said DACA Was A Magnet For Undocumented Immigrants And Caused The 2014 Influx Of Central American Minors Crossing The U.S. Border. “House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) blamed DACA for the influx of unaccompanied minors from Central America. ‘This has been the magnet that’s led to the flood of people coming across our border,” he said. “We have got to stop having this kind of message go out.’” [Talking Points Memo, 8/1/14]

Steve Scalise Would Not Rule Out Impeachment In Response To President Obama’s Executive Actions On Immigration. “Incoming House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) refused on Sunday to take impeaching President Barack Obama off the table if Obama takes executive action to limit deportations. On ‘Fox NewsSunday,’ host Chris Wallace asked Scalise, who was recently elected majority whip, if the House would consider impeachment. Scalise repeatedly dodged the question.” [Huffington Post, 7/27/14]


McMorris Rodgers: “My Vote Holds The President Accountable By Defunding His Unlawful Executive Order — An Action That Blatantly Disregards The Will Of Congress And The American People — And Represented A Step Backwards On Real, Long-Term Immigration Solutions.” “McMorris Rodgers, a member of the House Republican leadership, proclaimed her support for immigration reform but said she was voting against an overreaching President Obama. ‘My vote holds the president accountable by defunding his unlawful executive order — an action that blatantly disregards the will of Congress and the American people — and represented a step backwards on real, long-term immigration solutions,” she said in a statement.  “I remain committed to strengthening and modernizing legal immigration . . .’” [Seattle PI, 1/14/15]