A lot of responses came down after President Trump's decision to end the DACA program that has been protecting hundreds of thousands of young immigrants who were brought into the country illegally as children. 80,000 of those people are in Arkansas.
Here is Governor Asa Hutchinson's response:
“President Trump’s decision to rescind President Obama’s DACA executive order is a recognition of the constitutional limits of executive power,” said Governor Hutchinson. “The issue is squarely back in the hands of Congress, and reform of our immigration laws is long overdue. I support the decision to institute a six-month delay to allow Congress time to develop a modern, workable solution on immigration that should include both a secure border and broader reforms.
“Our hearts go out to the children affected; their unique stories show they have a lot to add to the future of America. Congress should act quickly on this matter and hold hearings on reform legislation.”
Here is a statement from Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge:
“I commend President Trump for rescinding the DACA program created by President Obama,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “While we are a compassionate country, the United States is a country of laws and President Trump recognized that President Obama’s DACA program went far beyond the executive branch’s legal authority. Congress has always been the proper place for this debate, and I am pleased that the President is granting Congress an additional six months to legislatively address this issue.”
Here is a statement from the Democratic Party of Arkansas:
Statement from Democratic Party of Arkansas, Chairman Michael John Gray:
"I am severely disappointed in this administration's decision to end DACA. And what is even more disappointing is that our own Attorney General Leslie Rutledge helped him do it. 800,000 young people - 10,000 in Arkansas - who grew up here and have only known the United States as home are now at risk of deportation. It's impractical as it is coldhearted.
"Our Republican leaders need to stop rubber stamping a federal agenda that hurts the interests of our state. It's time Governor Hutchinson stepped up to lead for Arkansas - not fall in line behind President Trump. We must call on Governor Hutchinson as well as our representatives in Congress - Sen. Tom Cotton, Sen. John Boozman, Rep. Rick Crawford, Rep. French Hill, Rep. Steve Womack, Rep. Bruce Westerman - to do their jobs and get to work on comprehensive immigration reform that protects these young people. We know the bipartisan support this issue enjoys; it should be simple. We'll see if Republicans can put down their political games for a minute and come together on this important issue."
Here is a statement from U.S. Representative Rick Crawford:
“The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was created by an unconstitutional executive action, and President Trump correctly decided to rescind the program in favor of a more comprehensive approach to immigration reform. While it isn’t fair that many young people were brought here through no fault of their own, granting illegal immigrants amnesty every few years also isn’t fair to the families who do immigrate legally. Any immigration reform policy Congress takes up must first strengthen border security and then address the illegal immigrants already here, to do otherwise would be treating a symptom instead of the root problem.”
Here is a statement from U.S. Senator John Boozman:
“The Obama administration overreached its authority when it unilaterally expanded the DACA program. I am pleased that President Trump is returning the power to Congress to restore the integrity of our nation’s immigration system. As Congress pursues immigration reform, I will push for legislative solutions to fix our broken immigration system, including the lengthy and burdensome legal immigration process.”
Here is a statement from U.S. Senator Tom Cotton:
"President Trump took a first step today toward cleaning up the mess that President Obama's unlawful amnesty left behind. President Trump is right that this amnesty would never have stood up in court. Yet, we now face a situation where 800,000 people, who were brought to our country as minors, face legal limbo. Dealing with this problem is a legislative task, not an executive-branch task. But we must recognize that codifying the DACA program will have two negative consequences: encouraging future illegal immigration with minors and allowing those 800,000 people to obtain legal status for their family members via chain migration, which rewards the very people who broke the law in the first place and further depresses working-class wages. Thus, we must mitigate these consequences by stopping the chain migration that hurts the working class and by strengthening the enforcement of our immigration laws. I've introduced legislation, the RAISE Act, that would limit the amount of low-skilled immigration coming into our country, and my colleagues have several proposals to strengthen enforcement. These should be the starting point of our discussions, and I look forward to working with all of my colleagues to come up with a deal that protects American workers."
Here is a statement from Arkansas State University Chancellor Dr. Kelly Damphousse:
“Today's news about President Trump's decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy is not a surprise to the leadership of Arkansas State University. In the days leading up to the announcement, we have reached out to our A-State DACA students to reassure them that that we include them in the concept that Every Red Wolf Counts.
As I meet with them, I am saddened to see how this policy shift dramatically affects the lives of these students. In the days and weeks to come, we will continue to work with our DACA students to ensure that they have all of the information that they need to plan accordingly.
Like all of our students, my first priority for DACA students is that they feel safe, that they are heard, and that their studies are not disrupted by external concerns. I remain committed to supporting all of our students, including our DACA students, to the extent that federal and state laws permit. I have asked Dr. Thilla Sivakumaran, the Executive Director of Global Initiatives, to serve as our lead contact for any A-State students who have questions about how the policy change affects their status.”