Tags: Immigration | Trump Administration | Coffman | Congress | DACA | Trump

Rep. Coffman: Congress Under 'Lot of Pressure' to Spare DACA

Image: Rep. Coffman: Congress Under 'Lot of Pressure' to Spare DACA
Rep. Mike Coffman (AP)

By    |   Saturday, 02 September 2017 06:18 PM

Rep. Mike Coffman said Saturday that Congress was under "a lot of pressure" to save the DACA program but that his legislation to stop President Donald Trump from suspending it was "only a place-holder, not a permanent solution."

"I think the president going to suspend this program," the Colorado Republican told CNN's Ana Cabrera, referring to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

"In doing so, you're going to have these young people whose permits are coming up for re-authorization. It's required every two years.

"They're going to be subject to deportation. So, it's going to put pressure on Congress to act," Coffman said.

"What I hope the president says is that he wants a bill. He wants Congress to pass legislation to put this into law that he can sign. That's my hope."

Coffman plans to file what is known as a "discharge petition" next week to force the House to a vote on his bill that would protect "Dreamers" for three years while Congress settles the matter with permanent legislation.

His legislation, the Bridge Act, was introduced in January.

Former President Barack Obama created DACA in 2012 by executive order.

The U.S. Constitution grants Congress the authority to decide immigration issues.

Coffman, 62, who has represented Colorado since 2009, told Cabrera that Trump was under pressure to suspend DACA by attorneys general from 10 states who are pushing Attorney General Jeff Sessions to challenge the program in federal court.

"He's in a very difficult position," Coffman said. "There are constitutional problems with the program. That's why we have to pass something like the Bridge Act to put into law."

He also referenced a federal court decision in 2015 that blocked a similar program for illegal immigrant parents of U.S. citizens and legal residents, which had been challenged by 26 states.

Obama announced that program in November 2014, but it was never launched.

"What the court effectively said was that the executive branch, the president of the United States, cannot make immigration law alone without the Congress," Coffman said. "So, we have to take this program and put it into law.

"We have to remember that these are individuals who were brought here as children through no fault of their own," he later added. "We have to remember that they didn't knowingly violate U.S. immigration law.

"They need to be treated differently."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Rep. Mike Coffman said Saturday that Congress was under "a lot of pressure" to save the DACA program but that his legislation to stop President Donald Trump from suspending it was "only a place-holder, not a permanent solution."
Coffman, Congress, DACA, Trump
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2017-18-02
Saturday, 02 September 2017 06:18 PM
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