Trump challenges Congress on immigration

President Donald Trump just passed another hot potato to Congress.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Tuesday that the Trump administration is rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. This is a President Barack Obama program that protected hundreds of thousands of young immigrants who were brought into the country illegally as children. New applications will be halted. The program has already provided nearly 800,000 young immigrants a reprieve from deportation and the ability to work legally in the U.S. in the form of two-year- renewable work permits.

Sessions declared that the program is an unconstitutional exercise of authority that must be revoked.

Of course, the announcement has drawn strong objections from Democrats and Republicans.

President Obama called Trump’s decision as “cruel” and “self-defeating.” Sen. John McCain said Trump was taking the wrong approach.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi called Trump’s decision “a deeply shameful act of political cowardice and despicable assault on innocent young people in communities across the America.”

Some of those communities are right here in southwest Minnesota. The young people who were eligible for the DACA program have attended our schools and colleges, work in our businesses and contributed to our economy. They even served in the military defending our country. They are not really strangers.

In many cases, these are young adults who have very little connections to the country their parents are from.

So what’s next? The Trump administration is giving Congress six months to come up with a legislative fix. This is the same Congress that failed to come with a health care fix. And there is not much optimism that this Congress will be able to answer Trump’s call for tax reform.

Even Obama called the DACA program a ‘temporary fix” because Congress failed to act during his presidency. So now it’s time for Congress to come up with the permanent fix.

It’s time for Congress to finally answer the call and work across the aisle and come up with a strong immigration plan that protects U.S. borders, but also shows compassion for those that are already here by no fault of their own.

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