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Sen. Cardin 'Confident' Congress Could Pass Immigration Bill

Image: Sen. Cardin 'Confident' Congress Could Pass Immigration Bill
(Chris Kleponis/AP)

By    |   Monday, 04 September 2017 10:12 AM

President Donald Trump's expected plan to announce that he will end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in six months will affect the economy and the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, Sen. Ben Cardin said Monday, although he does agree that comprehensive immigration reform is needed.

"If the Republican leadership will bring a bill to the floor of the Senate and the House, I'm confident we could pass [an immigration] bill," Cardin told CNN's "New Day" program. "The Senate did that a few years ago. We passed comprehensive immigration reform that did deal with the dreamers."

Trump's announcement, expected Tuesday, would delay the program's end for six months, allowing Congress the opportunity to change immigration law and continue the program. Former President Barack Obama pushed the measure through in 2012 through a policy memorandum instead of through Congress, leading critics to call the rule unconstitutional.

DACA allows "dreamers," or certain illegal immigrants who entered the country as minors, to receive both a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and eligibility for a work permit.

"I met with the dreamers last week in Maryland at an immigration roundtable," said Cardin on Monday. "You're talking about disrupting families that have been in the United States for a long time."

He does agree, though, that Congress should pass comprehensive immigration reform, 'and we certainly should pass a bill that protects the dreamers."

There could be votes in the Senate that would allow a guest worker program that could keep dreamers in the country, said Cardin.

"DACA children already have protection in the workforce," said Cardin. "What the president is doing is taking away that protection they have, that certainty they have under the DACA program."

Meanwhile, funding for Hurricane Harvey relief is coming up first in Congress, and Cardin said people in Texas must be cared for, but the United States also must not default on its debt ceiling.

"We have to not default on our debt ceiling, make sure the government stays open by the end of the month," said Cardin. "We need to get rid of sequestration. These are all issues that should have been dealt with. Obviously the problems with Harvey are new. But the others we knew about prior to going into the August recess. We have to get our work done as quickly as possible, and we have to achieve all those objectives in September. "

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President Donald Trump's expected plan to announce that he will end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in six months will affect the economy and the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, Sen. Ben Cardin said Monday, although he does agree that...
ben cardin, confident, congress, pass, immigration bill
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2017-12-04
Monday, 04 September 2017 10:12 AM
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