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AG Jeff Sessions announces end of DACA, but Calif Dems, GOPers support Dreamers

CA-Today Attorney General Jeff Sessions officially announced President Donald Trump had decided to wind down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA, which was authorized by President Barack Obama, provided work authorization to children who were brought into the country without papers. The program allowed children who were brought here before they turned 18 to work and go to school legally. However, Republicans claimed DACA was illegal because it overstepped Obama's constitutional authority. The former president defended his actions in a statement that read "These dreamers are Americans in their hearts, in their minds, in every single way but one: On paper," said Obama. Trump's decision affects more than 800,000 people and has created a division in the Republican party. Immigration hardliners, such as Sessions and Iowa Rep. Steve King support it, but other Republicans say it works against GOP efforts to add diversity to their party. In a statement, House Speaker Paul Ryan sounded sympathetic to dreamers. (DACA recipients are also known as dreamers.) "At the heart of this issue are young people who came to this country through no fault of their own, and for many of them it's the only country they know," said Ryan. However, in California, which is home to approximately 230,000 undocumented Dreamers, both Democrats and Republicans were sympathetic to the people affected by the repeal of DACA. Senate Republican Leader Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) said that now DACA has been repealed it was up to Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform. "It is imperative that Congress pass a lasting legislative solution that will ensure that 800,000 young people, who have done nothing wrong, can continue to pursue their educations, careers, and contributions to our great nation. This will only happen with bipartisan leadership from Congress and the president," said Bates. "Both Republicans and Democrats must come together to develop the immigration reforms that have sadly never materialized under presidential administrations and legislative majorities of both parties." Democrats were more critical. Assemblymember Chris Holden (D-Pasadena) accused Trump of crushing the dreams of thousands of young people. "Trump's decision to end DACA is a rude awakening to the American Dream," said Holden, chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus. "As it has consistently been shown to us, the current president is not a defender of rights, nor a proponent of the American Dream." Holden joined Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de Leon, and other leading politicians from the California Latino, Asian and Pacific Islander, Jewish, LGBT and Women's legislative caucuses in a show of solidarity. However, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended Trump's actions in a press conference this morning. She said the decision to end DACA, which will be phased out over six months, was a return to the rule of law. Sanders also suggested repealing DACA could help reduce Black and Hispanic unemployment. "It's a known fact that there are over four million unemployed Americans in the same age group as those that are DACA recipients," said Sanders. "Over 950,000 of them are African Americans in the same age group, and over 870,000 are Hispanics in the same age group. Those are large groups of people who can have those jobs, but again we are looking for legislative fixes."

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