Rep. Valadao talks approaching DACA deadline

Congressman David Valadao talks about immigration and the approaching DACA deadline with Eyewitness News on Jan. 4, 2018. (KBAK/KBFX photo)

The expiration date for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals protections is quickly approaching. In March, the Obama-era program for many so-called Dreamers will end.

The program gave nearly 800,000 young undocumented immigrants who were brought into the United States as children a work permit and safety against deportation.

Local Congressman David Valadao stopped by Eyewitness News on Thursday to discuss the DACA program.

"When you look at Obama's actions he took with DACA, that was just deferred action. It did not give anyone a permanent legal status. It did not give anybody real security," Valadao said. " All it did was say, 'Tell the federal agents to look the other way on these folks and put the priority on people out here who are actually here doing us harm.'"

Valadao said the only way to get a permanent solution is for Congress to pass a bill and for the president sign it into law.

"Congress has complained about that for a long time, and President Trump basically said, 'Here is your opportunity if you want to get it done. You've been complaining about it, now here is your chance,' and so I think we need to step up to the plate and do it," he said.

Valadao said he hopes to see Congress get ahead of the March deadline and take action this month.

"What I see us getting signed into law is something that will actually give (Dreamers) the security of knowing they don't have to worry, that they don’t have to feel insecure here, because they will be here and have the ability to stay here and not worry about their future," he said.

"As far as path to citizenship and what that looks like, it gets a little more complicated," Valadao continued. "There are some who that’s the only way and there are some that’s the only thing they will not support, so we got to find a sweet spot in there somewhere where we're not punishing those who have been trying to do things the legal way and not giving a free pass to those who come in here different routes."

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