Local Congressmen Support Legislation to Keep ‘Dreamers’ in U.S. 

Sep 06, 2017
File Photos by: Ryan Morrill Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-NJ2 (left) and Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-NJ3.

On Tuesday morning U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the controversial DACA (Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program initiated by an executive order of former President Barrack Obama in 2012 “is being rescinded.”

The program allowed certain illegal immigrants who entered the U.S. as minors to receive renewable two-year periods of deferred action from deportation and eligibility for a work permit. Those immigrants were children when they entered the country, brought here by their parents. It is widely estimated that 800,000 people, many of whom are now adults going to college, working or serving in the military, will be affected by Sessions’ decision, supported by President Donald Trump.

Rep. Tom MacArthur, whose 3rd Congressional District that includes the western half of Stafford Township and all of Barnegat Township, has generally supported the policies of the Trump administration. Not this time. On Saturday, even before a final decision had apparently been reached in the White House and Department of Justice, MacArthur released a statement expressing his displeasure.

“We need to fix our nation’s immigration system but starting this process by hurting the most innocent and vulnerable population would be wrong and misguided. Many of the young people affected by DACA have lived in the United States for most of their lives – and in the eyes of their friends, neighbors and communities are just as American as my own kids. They should not be punished for their parents’ crime.” 

U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo, whose 2nd Congresssional District covers Long Beach Island and the adjacent mainland from Stafford Township south to Little Egg Harbor, agreed in principle with MacArthur.  

“It was clear from the beginning that President Obama’s DACA program was a violation of executive authority,” LoBiondo stated. “As designed by our Founders, laws must be created by Congress. President Trump is right to call out Congress for failing to address critical immigration issues for many years. As I have previously stated, young people who came to our nation through no fault of their own should not be punished for the illegal actions of adults. I will again support and vote for legislation that ensures a permanent solution for ‘Dreamers’ so they may continue to live and work in our great country that many of them have only known.”  —R.M.

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