Rick Scott let it be known late last Friday he is not supporting his friend Donald Trump‘s decision to rescind the immigration order of former President Barack Obama that shields some children of undocumented immigrants from deportation.
But now that it’s happened, the Florida governor says it’s time for Congress to act.
“These were individuals who came here; they were brought here by somebody else. They all need to have the opportunity to pursue the American dream,” Scott told reporters after FloridaPolitics.com asked him about his reaction to Attorney General Jeff Sessions announcement that the Trump administration was ending what is known as DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program created by Obama in 2012.
In the five years since DACA was enacted, the nearly 800,000 individuals who have received the protections have started families, pursued careers and studied in schools and universities across the United States. The business and education communities at large have joined Democrats and many moderate Republicans in supporting the program, including Gov. Scott.
Scott noted that he is a stickler against illegal immigration, but said this was different.
“Look, I believe in enforcing our immigration laws,” he said. “I believe we have to secure our borders; I believe that we shouldn’t have sanctuary cities. But these are individuals who came here not on their own.”
As he said in his news release issued Friday night, Scott said he supports legislation sponsored by Miami Dade Republican Carlos Curbelo in the House and North Carolina’s Tom Tillis in the Senate that would provide a path to legal status for undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.
“I want these individuals to have the chance to pursue their dreams,” Scott said of those who could be deported with DACA being rescinded. He said the Curbelo/Tillis bill “makes some sense” but said it needs to go through Congress, not the White House as the original DACA policy was called for by Obama.
“Congress has got to start acting,” Scott said.” They’ve got to secure our borders. They’ve got to come up with an immigration policy that works.”