Sen. Orrin Hatch urges Trump not to drop federal program for young immigrants

Center front: Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, date and place not specified | Photo courtesy of the Offices of Sen. Orrin Hatch, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch and other members of the Republican Party called on President Donald Trump Friday not not remove federal protections for the children of immigrant parents who entered the country illegally.

The Obama-era policy, called the Deferred Action for Children Arrivals program, or DACA, has allowed a nearly 800,000 immigrants brought to the country illegally as children to remain in the U.S. and legally work without fear of deportation.

The program was initiated in 2012.

Trump was anticipated to make an announcement concerning the possible end of the program sometime Friday, with the White House announcing that was being moving till Tuesday.

I’ve urged the president not to rescind DACA, an action that would further complicate a system in serious need of a permanent, legislative solution,” Hatch said in his statement.

“Like the president, I’ve long advocated for tougher enforcement of our existing immigration laws,” he said “But we also need a workable, permanent solution for individuals who entered our country unlawfully as children through no fault of their own and who have built their lives here. And that solution must come from Congress.”

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, said on a Wisconsin radio program he was also against rescinding the program.

These are kids who know no other country, who were brought here by their parents and don’t know another home,” he said.

However, Rep. Chris Stewart, who called the program “good intentioned,” said Friday its creation via executive order by former President Barrack Obama was unconstitutional.

Immigrant rights groups, advocating for DACA, the program that allows youths who were brought to the country illegally as children to legally work and be shielded from deportation, rally in Phoenix, Arizona, Aug, 28, 2017. President Donald Trump is deciding whether to keep the program as Republican officials from 10 states have threatened to sue to stop the program, giving Trump a September 5 deadline to act, Phoenix, Arizona, Aug. 28, 2017| AP Photo/Astrid Galvan. St. George News

“This authority clearly lies within the purviews of Congress, which is why I am supporting legislation that bars the removal of individuals who were brought here under the age of 15 who are pursuing education, have recently graduated or are serving in the armed forces,” Stewart said.

The pieces of legislation Stewart mentioned are the BRIDGE Act and the Encourage New Legalized Immigrants to Start Training Act.

“I look forward to Congress making progress on the issue.”

Many DACA advocates still expect the president to announce, in the end, that he will stop the issuance of new work permits under the program, effectively phasing it out over the coming months. One person familiar with the White House discussions said the president is expected to take that route. But the person said the president is looking for ways to soften the blow, such as ending the program at a future date to give Congress time to come up with alternative protection.

The White House also could announce that it will allow the lawsuit to go forward and decline to have the Justice Department defend DACA in court, taking the matter out of its hands.

Trump seemed reluctant Friday to spark the anger that is sure to erupt no matter what he decides.

“We love the dreamers, we love everybody,” he told reporters.

Asked what he would say to young immigrants who are awaiting his move, scared about their fate, Trump replied, “I think the dreamers are terrific.”

The Associated Press contrubuted to this story.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.


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  • Walter1 September 1, 2017 at 9:02 pm

    In order for DACA to be extended. President Trump must get appropriations from congress for a substantial border wall, The Raise Act must be passed, Kate’s law must be passed, E-verify must be mandated for all employers, Visa overstay verification must be implemented and birth rite citizenship must be eliminated. Conservatives have been blatantly lied to in the past, especially in the 1986 Amnesty. President Trump will not be re-elected if he betrays his base on this one. That is the reality! Sen. Hatch doesn’t care much about trumps re-election chances. Hatch is a RHINO and has never been a reliable conservative!

    • bikeandfish September 2, 2017 at 11:00 am

      Eliminating birth right citizenship is an extreme measure that will never be supported by a 2/3 majority in Congress or a state driven Constitutional Congress. Its been an important liberty for a 150+ years that respects basic human dignity. Statelessness robs children of basic protections and actually increases the burden on communities and governments. Creating a humanitarian crisis doesn’t solve or help the issue of illegal immigration.

      • comments September 2, 2017 at 1:18 pm

        well what’s ur plan to get rid of them?

        • bikeandfish September 2, 2017 at 8:14 pm

          Get rid of the kids? I don’t support getting rid of them, they are citizens and don’t deserve to be in a stateless limbo that leads to cycles of poverty, crime and increased expense to other American citizens.

      • Henry September 2, 2017 at 3:15 pm

        The United States and Canada are the only two “developed” countries that still have unrestricted birthright citizenship laws. No country in Europe or East Asia has a similar citizenship policy; do those countries not “respect basic human dignity”?

        • bikeandfish September 2, 2017 at 11:27 pm

          You are right that most of Europe and Asia have an amended policy on birth right citizenship, which normally requires at least one parent to be a citizen.

          The “Developed” moniker is unnecessary and misleading. Countries like Costa Rica that have similar birth right citizenship as us in Central and South America are stable democracies and have created pathways to the outdated concept of developed, ie greater focus on education/literacy, refinement of government programs, etc. Its GDP is just shy of the economic boundary of $12k GDP per capita,which is really not the best way to judge the ideals of liberty any ways.

          And are we going to compare US liberties to Europe and Asia now? If so, logical consistency would require to also reevaluate and compare the first and second amendment to these countries that can radically curtail assembly, habeas corpus, and civilian right to bear arms. Or we can recognize that American heritage and culture has always pushed back against policy that infringes on fundamental and inalienable rights. There is nothing more fundamental to the human condition then having citizenship and its rights in the country you are born in.

          Per dignity, I think the context here matters. And that is why even RINOs, ie conservatives who refused to be pushed aside, recognize the value of these birth rights and how remaining a beacon to those ideals helps our country.

          The reality is illegal immigration on the Mexican border is decreasing and has been for several years. Illegal immigration statistics have stabalized and actually decreased for several years as well, though the decrease is minimal. And to be honest, our population growth flat-lined at least ten years ago. We are currently at an annual growth of .7%, almost a third of the 1.8% growth of the 50s. And those numbers include birthright children born to illegal immigrants. Point being our country can absorb the limited population growth associated with this issue in ways that the land or resource limited places like Europe, China or Japan. We are still very much the New West compared to them, hence why Canada is a good comparison.

          • Henry September 3, 2017 at 12:51 pm

            Although we often disagree on policy, we can usually depend on you providing a reasoned and calm rationale for your views. That’s why I’m surprised that you made an overly dramatic remark, and now try to deflect from it with some dubious comparisons.

            The term “developed countries” is one that is widely used and accepted, regardless of political background.

            The U.S. has much more in common with other developed countries demographically, culturally, and economically than it does with most countries in Central and South America. And Costa Rica is the exception, not the rule, when it comes to the stability of democracy and rule of law in Central and South America.

            You make an overly broad assumption when you are suggesting that all European and East Asian countries “can radically curtail assembly, habeas corpus, and civilian right to bear arms”. And it deflects from the original topic of the article.

            Everyone should agree that “nothing more fundamental to the human condition then having citizenship”. But you lack a rationale for your claim that it also applies to “rights in the country you are born in”. Just because we don’t support birthright citizenship doesn’t mean that we won’t treat that category of people with dignity and respect.

            Then you add “RINOs, ie conservatives who refused to be pushed aside”. Don’t you realize how condescending that remark sounds? It’s like saying all Democrats support Antifa – also wrong.

            You provide statistics regarding the recent numbers of illegal immigrants as a justification for minimizing the issue. You state that the “Point being our country can absorb the limited population growth associated with this issue in ways that the land or resource limited places like Europe, China or Japan”. Our country has an over $20 trillion budget deficit (unlike Canada), so we are very limited financially in what our country has available to dispense.

        • bikeandfish September 3, 2017 at 5:13 pm

          Sorry, but I stand behind the critique of using “developed countries” as a fair comparison. Its an economic indicator not one of legal and political similarities. Just find a map of countries that still protect birth right citizenship. You’ll see its split rather obviously from Europe and Asia (amended birth rights) to North and South America (pure). We may have a lot in common and built off of the English common law but we expanded and continue to do so.

          I stick by my split with Europe and Asian systems and its clearly relevant. Our limitations on government are much more pronounced to expressly protect civil liberties. Clearly China is not a country we want to be compared to in that arena. Most European countries, as a generalization, have definitely reduced civil liberties than the US. The UK has continously extended detention times without trial since the 90s. Many of the countries, especially the UK, has unbelievable power to monitor and surveil citizens on a scope we will unlikely ever see in the US because of the difference in our Constitutions. Our expansive protections of speech are almost unparalleled in Europe in Canada where the state can prevent publication or assembly because of their definitions of incitement or government powers. Our culture of individual liberty has always been different since we revolted and its why the other side of the coin, like comparing our gun violence to those countries (by the left) falls flat.

          In our current state we protect individuals at the expense of government power. That is why the comparisons to Europe don’t work. Those protections always come with risk (speech turning violent like Charlottesville, angry young men shooting up schools, etc).

          Per your remark about our debt…the vast majority of undocumented immigrants pay taxes at the local, state, and federal level. Its estimated that the number is 60-75%. They provide $6-15 billion in Social Security alone with no ability to draw. Most economic reports I have read associate undocumented labor with a neutral cost to our government operation because of the fact that most pay in without being able to draw, with the noted program exception being Medicaid. I read the Heritage Foundation report a while ago that had different findings but its methodology was considered problematic and still was outweighed by other third party, non-partisan research.

          The reference to RINO is only condescending if you use the term to dismiss their relevance and actions. If you don’t then it has no impact on you. If you do, then to be honest I am not concerned and complaining is simply ironic. Its always been a pejorative term that exposes more about the user then those its projected onto. Same with DINO. Both are big tent organizations that appeal to a myriad of political philosophies. Its problematic and useless shorthand that could be replaced with policy detailed policy agreements. But that is not why dog whistles and signaling exist. ( comment made no inference about other conservatives who aren’t included in the term or don’t use it). RINO is a way of rhetorically pushing fellow conservatives aside and denying them relevance by questioning their political loyalty. Just look at the way Walter1 uses it, ie context of my series of comments.

          And I would love to see more open dialog about the dignity and respect devoted to children of undocumented immigrants. I don’t see any reference to that aspect here or elsewhere in comments. How do you propose to handle the massive new class of stateless individuals? Mexico has stated they will not accept people who are not Mexican nationals but arrested at our southern border? Respecting their dignity would mean holding officials like Trump and Steve King accountable for detailing ways to solve the inherent problems that would come with that change. We know statelessness in children is associated with lower education, higher crime and overall higher levels of illegality, which ends us costing us all more. I trust that you do care about those things but the rhetoric of those calling for changes and using phrases like anchor babies and the POTUS especially don’t exhibit that value.

          • Henry September 3, 2017 at 6:58 pm

            Sorry, I stand behind the commonly accepted usage of the term “developed” countries. It’s an indicator of not just economic but cultural and legal traits.

            The fact is, we in the U.S. still have more in common with East Asian and European countries than we do Central and South American countries. These developed countries on average have much more legal and economic protections for their citizens.

            You report studies that claim illegal immigrants are a neutral-cost to government. I can cite studies that illegal immigrants have a large direct and indirect cost to the U.S. Most studies manipulate their data to arrive at the conclusion they wish to support.

            Your stating of “RINOs; i.e.; conservatives who refuse to be pushed aside” and subsequent explanation is interesting. I shall now refer to “Antifa; i.e., liberals who refuse to be pushed aside”. LOL

            Rather than focus on dialogue about nebulous and politically-charged rhetoric about “dignity and respect” for illegal immigrants, I would rather the primary focus be on quantifiable metrics regarding their economic, legal, and cultural impact.

          • comments September 3, 2017 at 9:31 pm

            i think bike&fish might be overdue for a long long trip to the Congo. he obviously is craving some diversity and “enrichment” in his life. lol

        • bikeandfish September 3, 2017 at 10:37 pm

          You have every ability to stick to the “developed” framework, we just come to an impasse.

          I won’t stop asserting the importance of the dignity and respect associated with birth right citizenship. Remember, existing jurisprudence allows birth right citizenship for children of undocumented immigrants to be defined as citizens. Its up to those recommending an alteration to that tradition to provide compelling evidence that it is needed and consistent with out values. Dignity and respect are paramount to civil liberty and critical elements of why our country was founded on valuing those above all else. They are the cornerstone to the whole issue.

          Why does everything come back to anitfa for you? Not evenly remotely relevant. Walter1 called Hatch a RINO, hence my comment. Plus, antifa is a self-ascribed name like the alt-right unlike RINO which was always supposed to be an insult from those who disagreed with policy but just resorted to name calling.

          I would love to see you cite studies that show amending the Constitution to eliminate birth right citizenship helps the country economically, culturally and legally.

          • Henry September 4, 2017 at 11:38 am

            We’ve come to an impasse overall on this topic.

            I regard your continued reference to “dignity and respect” as a red herring. I think most people expect that, just like we expect people to support Mom and apple pie.

            I used the Antifa analogy to point out the hypocrisy in your statement about RINOs. Name calling is what you engaged in, in this instance.

            I’m not going to enter into a tit-for-tat on immigration studies, and ask you to likewise provide studies that support your views on the costs of birthright citizenship/illegal immigration. Studies on both sides of the issue are widely available for anyone to find. As I stated, one can achieve their desired outcome by the inclusion of various criteria and their corresponding weighting. If you want to do so and read your own writing, that’s your choice.

        • bikeandfish September 4, 2017 at 4:03 pm

          The burden of proof is on those who claim the problem is large enough to require dismantling basic constitutional rights. Its not on those of us who value the current jurisprudence.

          Please explain how my original comment about human dignity, ie “Its been an important liberty for a 150+ years that respects basic human dignity,” was a red-herring. Please tell. I would love to see you support that claim.

          Your focus on RINO fails to recognize my comment was in response to Walter1 and the original post (” Hatch is a RHINO and has never been a reliable conservative!”) in this thread. Walter1 was clearly using the term to undermine Hatch’s relevance and the importance of his failed challenge to Trump. I actually hate the term hence my criticisms and clear explanation of its pejorative history. Your continued fascination with it and Antifa lacks context and purpose. Please take the time to remember the thread’s context next time before engaging in that sort of rhetoric.

          • Henry September 4, 2017 at 8:57 pm

            What a crock of condescending hot air. I thought you were actually interesting in engaging in meaningful dialogue.

          • Henry September 4, 2017 at 8:59 pm

            ‘Interested’ vice ‘interesting’

        • bikeandfish September 5, 2017 at 12:57 am

          Please explain how expecting you to behave according to basic guidelines of discourse is a “crock of condescending hot air” and not consistent with meaningful dialog. You have leveled claims of red herrings against me and I would love to see you support that with evidence in context of my claim, ie the one I quoted not your recalculation of it.

          Please explain the same with your comments about RINO with evidence in context of the original remark, ie highlighting Walter1’s comments.

          • Henry September 5, 2017 at 8:59 am

            I have numerous times. Despite your claims of wanting open-minded discussion, you’re a close-minded ideologue. You continually refute commonly accepted facts and respond to points by deflecting and bloviating. Go away, troll.

        • bikeandfish September 5, 2017 at 12:07 pm

          The only thing you said is that I engaged in a red herring, a fallacy, and just repeated its meaning of distraction. Here is the full meaning: ” something that misleads or distracts from a relevant or important issue.” So I am curious, how does my statement that ” Its [birthright citizenship] been an important liberty for a 150+ years that respects basic human dignity” qualify for that fallacy?

          The only thing you have done with the RINO comments is mischaracterized my comments and taken them out of context. I wasn’t name calling but using the very term Walter1 used to devalue Hatch’s remarks and recommendations to Trump.

          Call me a troll, tell me I bloviate and that I am condescending all you want but you have never taken the time to justify your accusations in the context of the thread. Remember, my initial remarks were not directed at you, but Walter1 and then you interjected.

          • Henry September 5, 2017 at 12:19 pm

            Bye troll. Play your games and display your faux indignation with someone else.

          • bikeandfish September 5, 2017 at 12:31 pm

            Its not faux indignation but standard expectations when someone levels a claim. You are the one engaging in ad hominem attacks and misrepresentations. Those are classically affiliated with trolling.

          • Henry September 5, 2017 at 4:12 pm

            Bye troll. Stalk someone else.

    • tenx September 4, 2017 at 9:02 pm

      I do not favor extending DACA. I do favor implementing all the items listed by Walter1. And yes, the 1986 Amnesty only encouraged more illegals to migrate. Promise Amnesty and they will come, one way or another. Viva LEGAL immigration.

  • utahdiablo September 1, 2017 at 11:08 pm

    So the immigration lawyer Aaron Tarin is telling Utah illegals not to renew their Utah drivers license or Car insurance to evade ICE? You should all sleep well tonight knowing that you or your family may be hit on the roadway and what can you do about it? Nothing….but Aaron has the backs of the law breakers….Adios ….time to wake up dreamers

  • Badshitzoo September 2, 2017 at 11:41 am

    These people should at least submit to wearing arm bands that identify their “status”; and we should use railroad boxcars to send them away in. And anyone caught hiding, or harboring these people should be dealt with as an “enemy of the state” and put on an “enemy of the state” list. We’ll also need to keep a close watch on our neighbors, and friends and report anything “suspicious” of course. I’ve all ready got one neighbor who refuses to swear allegiance to Trump! What is wrong with these people?

    • Henry September 2, 2017 at 7:55 pm

      So anyone that doesn’t align with your stance on immigration is a Nazi? From whom did you learn your writing style – Senator Joseph McCarthy?

  • comments September 2, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    “…under the age of 15 who are pursuing education, have recently graduated or are serving in the armed forces,” Stewart said.”

    I didn’t know they allowed illegals to enlist.

    You know, it’s ok to be tired of illegal mexicans. Even legal mexican-americans are tired of illegal mexicans. The absolutely massive amounts of children they breed makes it incredibly difficult to get rid of them. You know, being sick and tired of illegal mexicans does not make you a racist or a “xenophobe”. Don’t feel bad about being sick and tired of illegal mexicans. Most of us are.

  • comments September 2, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    so now the donald “Loves dreamers”? The issue of massively reducing illegals was this pres’s biggest campaign promise. It’s make or break time for the clown we call our pres.

    • ladybugavenger September 3, 2017 at 8:09 am

      Well. If they became legal than that would reduce illegal immigrants. LOL….

  • Gcia September 3, 2017 at 10:41 am

    They may come here with their criminal parents, at no fault of their own, but they learn at a very young age that because of that they are afforded things that even the rest of us may not be. The parents come here illegally, dragging their kids across the border. I highly doubt this is the only country they know. I’m sure they watched as their parents helped the rest of the family, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, get across the border as well.

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