California Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) said that he supports legislation that would offer a pathway to citizenship for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA recipients. He announced his support following President Trump’s announcement that he was cancelling the Obama-era executive order that gave work permits and deportation protection to undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country as children.
“I think it's important that we make this a movement beyond California,” Denham said, calling for bipartisan unity in order to achieve immigration reform. “It needs to be all 50 states coming together.”
In an interview with KQED Newsroom, Denham called for broad immigration reform, including a guest worker program and improvements to the visa system. But he said the most urgent issue was protecting so-called "Dreamers," whose undocumented status is not their fault, but the responsibility of their parents who made the decision to come to the country illegally.
“We've never held kids accountable for laws that have been broken by their parents,” he insisted. “I believe that we've got to get this done. We've got to get it done now.”
Denham added that he was confident that legislators could approve the reforms quickly, even as soon as the next several days.