Today, Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) led a press conference in the U.S. Capitol with 13 House GOP Reps. Don Bacon (R-NE), Joe Barton (R-TX), Susan Brooks (R-IN), Ryan Costello (R-PA), Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), John Faso (R-NY), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Darrell Issa (R-CA), Peter King (R-NY), Leonard Lance (R-NJ), Erik Paulsen (R-MN), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), and Fred Upton (R-MI). The members urged that Congress act and support ongoing negotiations led by House Republican leaders for a legislative solution for beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program before the end of 2017.
Members released the following statements after the press conference:
Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN): "Thank you to the many DACA recipients from the Fifth District of Indiana who have shared their stories with me. These young people are contributing in significant ways to our communities. We need to fix this problem in a bipartisan way because they have grown up in our schools, with our children, pledged allegiance to our flag, and are part of this country. I'd like to thank my colleague Congressman Newhouse for emphasizing the importance of finding a compassionate resolution to their immigration status. Sending these motivated young people back to countries they are not familiar with is not the solution."
Rep. Ryan Costello (R-PA): "We in Congress need to provide a humane, permanent, and constitutional solution to this issue. It is not something that can just be done by a president. It does require Congress to step up and legislate, and to do so in a way that reflects the best about our country, which is that we are a compassionate people," Rep. Costello said during the press conference. "We owe it to the American people to demonstrate that we can do this on a bipartisan basis. Candidly, I would add this, let's not wait until five months and 30 days, let's do this earlier rather than later, and let's demonstrate that we can work together and that we're doing this for the right reasons."
Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA): "From dangerous "Sanctuary City' policies to the national security threat posed by our compromised borders, it is clear that our immigration system is broken and there is much that needs to be done to fix it. Congress must reassert its authority and work to fix our immigration system by taking into account all aspects of the issue -- from enacting 'Kate's Law' to deport those who commit crimes while here illegally, to defunding sanctuary cities, to securing operational control of our borders, to treating with compassion those children who were brought here due to no fault of their own, in a manner that is becoming of American ideals and values."
Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ): "The best legislative solutions start from the middle out; that is why I am so encouraged to stand here besides my Republican colleagues. Together, on this stage, we represent a belief that DREAMERs are a part of the larger American family and we recognize our obligation to keep the promise we made to the DREAMERs by working together towards a compassionate legislative solution that would allow them to remain here."
Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN): "This morning shows once again there is a growing consensus for a solution to help young people who came to our country through no fault of their own and for all practical purposes are Americans. I will continue to support helping the 6,000 DACA recipients in Minnesota to ensure they remain valuable contributors to our state and country."
While Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA) was not able to attend the press conference because of the tax reform markup in the Ways and Means Committee, he joins his colleagues in support of these efforts. "As the end of the year approaches, the need for a legislative solution to the DACA program has become increasingly urgent. DACA recipients were brought here by no fault of their own and see America as their country and their home. These children have contributed so much to our communities and I believe punishing them for a crime they did not commit is not in the American DNA. It is incumbent on us to make sure they have every opportunity to live the American Dream. Congress must act immediately."
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL): "I'm thankful to my colleague, Dan, for arranging this press conference to show Republican support for finding a legislative fix for Dreamers. These young men and women, who contribute positively to our nation, deserve our support and help to stay here. For many, the United States is the only country they have truly known and to deport them to their countries of birth would not only be a hardship but would rob our nation of an important talent pool that can innovate and help us grow."
Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI): "Let's get a bill to the president's desk that he can sign and say 'Merry Christmas' to a lot of folks across the country."