CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Shortly after a Supreme Court ruling to keep the DACA program in place in the United States, North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein spoke about the decision with WBTV.
The controversial Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA) has been in place since 2012. It was created by the Obama administration and protects illegal immigrants who have been in the country since they were children from being deported. It also allows for those immigrants, commonly referred to as Dreamers, to work while they are in the country.
Back in 2017, President Donald Trump, who has taken tough stances on illegal immigration, announced he intended to end the program. Thursday’s 5-4 Supreme Court ruling rejected the president’s attempt to do away with the program and ensured that DACA will continue until at least election season.
Stein, a supporter of the DACA program, spoke to WBTV in a Zoom interview Thursday afternoon.
“These are young people who were brought to the United States as young children, went to school here, work here, serve our nation in the armed forces, on the front lines in our hospitals with the COVID-19 pandemic. They want to be part of this nation. They want to build this nation and now they don’t have to fear being deported,” said Stein.
According to press release from Stein’s office, there are about 800,000 DACA recipients living in the United States and 27,000 of them live in North Carolina. The release notes that DACA recipients pay $63,618,000 annually in state and local taxes in North Carolina.
“These are law-abiding young people who want to build a life and help us build this country and to have them fear being deported at any moment would have been devastating to them,” Stein told WBTV.
President Trump responded to the decision on Twitter, tweeting, “These horrible & politically charged decisions coming out of the Supreme Court are shotgun blasts into the face of people that are proud to call themselves Republicans or Conservatives.”
Other Republicans on Capitol Hill also ridiculed the Supreme Court decision. Both Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz spoke about the decision on the Senate floor Thursday.
“Five justices today held that it was illegal for the Trump administration to stop breaking the law. That’s bizarre,” said Cruz.
Cornyn expressed that he wants to find a better way to help the people who have benefited from DACA. The program currently does not provide a path to citizenship.
“This is just a temporary measure. DACA recipients must have a permanent legislative solution,” said Cornyn.
Stein is hoping the lawmakers on Capitol Hill can make significant changes when it comes to illegal immigration in the United States.
“They need to get their act together. It’s ridiculous that congress hasn’t helped solve this problem. We need secure borders. We need to hold companies that are hiring people here unlawfully accountable. We need to have a pathway to citizenship for the people who have been here for a long period of time,” said Stein.