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The clock is ticking toward the March 5 deadline to take action on the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Yet not much has happened since September when President Donald Trump announced plans to phase out the executive order signed by President Barack Obama in 2012. That created the program that offers protection for those brought illegally to the United States as children.

When President Trump announced plans to phase out the executive order, we supported it.

We supported it because Congress should be the ones passing a law pertaining to immigration. The president shouldn’t be ruling the country through executive order. That is not how our nation was established.

As House Speaker Paul Ryan stated last September: “However well-intentioned, President Obama’s DACA program was a clear abuse of executive authority, an attempt to create law out of thin air. Just as the courts have already struck down similar Obama policy, this was never a viable long-term solution to this challenge … but now there is more to do, and the president has called on Congress to act.”

Now is the time to act. We need Congress to come forward with a solution to help end this chaos and uncertainty many have been living in.

Democrats gave Republicans the votes early Friday (early as in 3 a.m. and 5 a.m.) that ended a brief shutdown and, at the same time, boosted military spending. Now the two parties need to come together again to pass an immigration bill to help DACA recipients, also known as Dreamers.

When talking about DACA, the Trump administration has said if the March 5 deadline passes and no deal is reached, the government will not start deporting Dreamers who don’t have criminal records.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly said Tuesday: “They are not a priority for deportation.”

But it’s about more than criminal records. Many rely on the DACA program to be employed and to drive legally.

Without DACA, their jobs are put in jeopardy. Also, they could be forced to drive illegally, affecting entire families who sometimes rely on the young person in the family to help them get around.

As U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., said in an Associated Press report: “It’s cold comfort to DACA people that if Congress does nothing, they’re still safe in the loving arms of the Department of Homeland Security.”

Something must be done, and fast.


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