Congresswoman Martha McSally

Representing the 2nd District of Arizona

U.S. Rep. McSally Calls on Speaker Ryan to Take up Legislation Addressing DACA

September 1, 2017
Press Release
“It would be wrong to go back on our word”

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Representative Martha McSally today led a group of lawmakers in writing a letter to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan requesting the House take up legislation to address the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The letter expresses their disagreement with how President Obama established this program by usurping Congressional law making authority, and resolves that Congress is responsible for determining the future of the program—not the President.

“These individuals’ status in the United States should not be left to the political winds of different administrations that come to power,” the lawmakers said in the letter. “Congress has a responsibility and a duty to address this problem legislatively and was robbed of the opportunity to do so when President Obama issued his June 2012 memorandum. We are willing and ready to find a solution no matter what action is taken by President Trump in the coming days and encourage you to work with us as soon as possible to do so.”

Congresswoman McSally was an early cosponsor of the Recognizing America’s Children (RAC) Act, legislation that would provide three clear pathways to legal status for those currently protected under DACA: higher education, service in the armed forces, or work authorization. Additionally, she has questioned Secretary Kelly on whether or not DHS would protect the DACA holders, emphasizing their role in American society. 

In the letter, the lawmakers point out that individuals protected under DACA have come forward and entrusted the government with their biometric data, and many have gone on to attend school, embark on careers, and serve in the military. “It would be wrong to go back on our word and subject these individuals to deportation,” the letter concludes.

A PDF of the letter can be viewed HERE.

The full letter text follows.

September 1, 2017

The Honorable Paul D. Ryan

Speaker of the House

H-232, United States Capitol

Washington, DC 20515

Dear Speaker Ryan,

As you are aware, due to potential legal action being led by Texas State Attorney General Ken Paxton and attorneys general from nine other states, President Trump is currently facing a September 5 deadline to phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Created in 2012 by President Barack Obama, the DACA program provides prosecutorial discretion to defer removal action against people who entered the United States illegally as children.

Since its inception, the federal government has approved approximately 795,000 initial DACA applications and 924,000 renewals. DACA recipients have contributed both to the U.S. economy and our society. Since being approved for DACA status, an overwhelming majority of these individuals have enrolled in school or found employment. Most have also increased their average earnings and many have served in the military, opened businesses or purchased homes.

We did not support the way that President Obama established this program and usurped Congressional law making authority. However, these individuals have come forward and provided the federal government with their personal information and biometrics.  It would be wrong to go back on our word and subject these individuals to deportation.

In February, President Trump stated that DACA recipients are “incredible kids” and that he was going to “deal with DACA with heart.” We are encouraged by previous statements made by the White House. Regardless, these individuals’ status in the United States should not be left to the political winds of different administrations that come to power. Congress has a responsibility and a duty to address this problem legislatively and was robbed of the opportunity to do so when President Obama issued his June 2012 memorandum. We are willing and ready to find a solution no matter what action is taken by President Trump in the coming days and encourage you to work with us as soon as possible to do so.

Respectfully,

Martha McSally

Don Bacon

Carlos Curbelo

Scott Taylor

Mario Diaz-Balart

David G. Reichert

John J. Faso

Dan Newhouse

Jeff Denham

David G. Valadao