Skip to main content

Listen

Read

Watch

Schedules

Programs

Events

Give

Account

Donation Heart Ribbon

Democratic California Lawmakers Vow To Help DACA Recipients

Supporters of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA chant sloga...

Credit: Associated Press

Above: Supporters of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA chant slogans and hold signs while joining a Labor Day rally in downtown Los Angeles on Monday, Sept. 4, 2017.

Democratic California Lawmakers Vow To Help DACA Recipients

GUEST:

Dan Eaton, partner, Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek

Transcript

Democrats in the California Legislature slammed President Donald Trump's Tuesday decision to end a program protecting immigrants illegally brought into the country as children.

More than 30 lawmakers vowed to pass bills to help people currently shielded under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, including legislation to limit immigration enforcement on college campuses and to make California a so-called "sanctuary state."

RELATED: ‘You See In Their Eyes The Fear’: DACA Students Face An Uncertain Future

They spoke out in forceful terms against the president.

"President Trump and his advisers are nothing but cold, compassionless men," Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de Leon said.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the DACA program will be phased out over the next six months. In the meantime, Trump said Congress should determine the fate of the program, which provides work permits for qualifying young immigrants that allow them to stay in the country.

Tne Democratic state senator personally slammed Sessions for the announcement. "It was hard to watch an old white guy who has benefited from white privilege his entire life smugly ruin the lives of hundreds of thousands of young people," said Sen. Connie Leyva of Chino.

RELATED: Here’s How Congress Could Act To Save DACA

Even several California Republicans said Congress should protect so-called "dreamers."

"If today's decision by the president to abandon DACA doesn't force Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform, I don't know what will," Assembly Republican leader Chad Mayes of Yucca Valley said in a statement. "America should not be in the business of deporting children who came to this country through no fault of their own."

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher said she would sit outside of U.S. congressmen's offices with people protected under DACA every day until they hear her message to support continued protections for the young immigrants.

"We're not just going to just sit here and mourn over what this evil, heartless president and his attorney general" have done, the San Diego Democrat told reporters.

RELATED: 5 Questions About DACA Answered

Assemblyman Marc Levine of San Rafael told reporters that Trump's actions are an attempt at "ethnic cleansing" to benefit white supremacists and Nazis.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, also a Democrat, said he's prepared to file a lawsuit against the administration with the backing of Gov. Jerry Brown.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or subscribe to our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.