WASHINGTON — Members of Texas' congressional delegation predictably fell along party lines in their reactions to this week's still-evolving Trump administration announcement that it was ending a controversial Obama-era immigration program.
The future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — known as DACA — is in doubt; U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday announced an impending end to the program that affects some 120,000 Texans. The program, established by President Obama in 2012, provided a renewable, two-year work permit and a reprieve from deportation proceedings for undocumented immigrants under age 30 who were brought to the U.S. by their parents as children.
While Texas Republicans mostly criticized Obama for implementing the program in the first place, citing executive overreach and saying Congress should set federal immigration policy, many of them left the door open to legislative solutions that let these young immigrants stay in the U.S.
That makes sense, because they're operating with exceedingly confusing messaging from the Trump administration; after Sessions announced he would end the program, Trump later tweeted that he would give Congress "6 months to legalize DACA" or he would personally "revisit this issue."
The Texas Tribune thanks its sponsors. Become one.
Trump further tweeted on Thursday morning: "For all of those (DACA) that are concerned about your status during the 6 month period, you have nothing to worry about - No action!
Texas Democrats, unsurprisingly, uniformly backed the DACA program, and called for further immigration reform. Some of them also called the DACA announcement an unwelcome distraction from the Hurricane Harvey clean up effort.