Alexander, DesJarlais, Perdue Supportive Of President: On DACA Issue; Corker Seeks Legislative Answer; La Paz Director Says It Will Bring "Increased Fear"

Tuesday, September 5, 2017
Stacy Johnson
Stacy Johnson

Several area members of Congress said they are supportive of  President Trump's decision to end the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Stacy Johnson, executive director of La Paz Chattanooga, said the move will bring "increased fear." 

Senator Lamar Alexander said, “Just as President Nixon went to China, President Trump uniquely can lead a revision of our immigration laws that secures our borders, improves our system of legal immigration and solves problems such as the 800,000 children who grew up here, but were brought here illegally. I voted for such a law in 2013 and am willing to work with the president to do that again.”

He said in 2013,  he voted for the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 "which would have dramatically strengthened border security, ended de facto amnesty and helped fix our legal immigration system. The legislation would have allowed law abiding children who were brought into the U.S. illegally to apply for legal permanent resident status if they earned a high school diploma and completed at least two years of college or honorably served in the military for four years. The U.S. Senate passed the legislation, but the bill was not considered by the U.S. House of Representatives."

Congressman Scott DesJarlais, M.D., said he supports "President Donald Trump’s decision to phase-out Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, an Obama-era executive order that expanded work permits and other benefits to almost a million illegal immigrants, encouraging more illegal immigration across the southern border."


He said, “Any solution to illegal immigration must include border security and domestic law enforcement, and Congress must write the law. For that reason, federal courts struck down the former president’s unconstitutional orders, and I support Kate’s Law, defunding sanctuary cities, a border wall, and a legal, merit-based immigration system that works better for American citizens, workers and taxpayers. Our focus should be Americans out of work, underpaid, or concerned for their safety, because of unfettered  illegal immigration and related border crime.”


Rep. DesJarlais said he recently voted for Kate’s Law to strengthen penalties on deported aliens who return to the U.S. and for the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act, which would deny federal funds to cities like San Francisco, where the local government refuses to cooperate with immigration authorities. He also voted to fully fund the President’s request for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, another bill awaiting action in the Senate.


Senator David Perdue said, “President Obama acted outside of his constitutional authority when he unilaterally changed our immigration laws through executive order. It is clear President Trump and Attorney General Sessions are committed to tackling the problems with our broken immigration system. Moving forward, it is imperative that any immigration proposals considered by Congress protect the interests of working Americans, including immigrants. We cannot repeat the mistakes of the past with a comprehensive immigration bill that does not work. The RAISE Act’s changes to our legal immigration system should be part of the solution. I will continue working with Senator Cotton and my colleagues to advance this merit-based system that is pro-worker, pro-growth, and proven to work.”


Senator Bob Corker said, “The president is right to want this issue to be resolved legislatively,” said Corker. “Hopefully, while addressing it, we also will deal with a myriad of other issues that need to be corrected with our broken immigration system, including enhancing enforcement and security measures.”


Ms. Johnson said, "Today marks another historic day that will change the course of life for thousands of families across the nation. President Trump’s decision to rescind the DACA program will ultimately cause many immigrant families to experience a greater source of uncertainty for themselves and those with whom they love. In short, many individuals, who grew up in the United States and only fully understand the society and way life here, will now have increased fear about their future.

"For La Paz Chattanooga, our role does not change. We will continue to offer the support and guidance within our legal means to any person who seeks to find the right path and resources to help them thrive.

"For the DACA recipients affected by today’s decision, La Paz will do our best to offer a compassionate and trusting source of help and support as they determine the next steps in their life’s journey in light of their new reality. We will listen and empathize. We will make phone calls and connections to others with whom they may need to rely on for assistance. We will host community sessions and relay any new information that we discover that will be important for them to know. We will treat each individual with the respect they deserve as a creation of God, regardless of any status or label that has been placed upon them. We will be a pathway of understanding and education. We will continue to develop opportunities of peace to bridge the cultural divide in the hope of pursuing a more inclusive and stronger city and region.

"There are untold numbers of local families who will be affected by today’s decision. They are a part of our city and we are all Chattanoogans. Join me in helping to create a stronger and more inclusive Chattanooga."

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