Local supporters speak out on importance of DACA

President Trump is expected to announce that he is ending a controversial program that protects nearly 800,000 young undocumented immigrants from deportation.

NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- President Donald Trump is expected to announce the end of DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

It's a program put in place by the Obama administration that protects immigrants, brought into the United States illegally as children.

President Trump is also expected to delay ending the program by six months. This would give Congress time to decide on how to address the status of so-called "Dreamers."

This topic was a hot issue for President Trump, especially along the campaign trail. After reports of his decision, many politicians from both sides of the aisle spoke out.

Senator Tim Kaine tweeted his support for keeping the DACA, saying Dreamers "make our nation stronger."

Meanwhile, Trump-backer Mike Huckabee tweeted: "DACA is the right thing to do but do LEGALLY by Congress. Children shouldn't be punished for what parents did. Bipartisan opportunity."

But, Iowa Representative Steve King tweeted ending DACA is restoring rule of law and a delay is "Republican suicide."

"They're just as American as you and I are, and they're some of the most hard-working people out there," said Paul Rice, President of the Hampton Roads Young Democrats.

Rice has worked with and advocated for many immigrants and dreamers in the area.

"The vast majorities of interactions you'd have with a Dreamer, you wouldn't know any difference between them and your neighbor. They're just like you and I," he said.

Already, 29 bipartisan mayors have called to keep DACA. Last week, major corporations came together, signing a letter encouraging President Trump to keep the program.

Facebook, Apple, Amazon, and Google called Dreamers vital to their companies and the economy.

"Most of them moved here at the age of 6 or under so this is a decision that will rip apart parents and their children, it could be upending hard working families and disrupting communities our economy depends on," said Rice.

Department of Homeland Security officials said they're still processing several hundred DACA applications every day, adding that many of them are renewals.

© 2017 WVEC-TV


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