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Andrew Gillum says an end to DACA would be ‘moral stain’

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum joined the call to save the program allowing young, undocumented immigrants to stay in America, charging that President Donald Trump‘s anticipated repeal of DACA would be a “moral stain.”

Anticipating Trump will end the Deferred Action for Children Arrivals begun by former President Barack Obama, Democrats have been pushing for weeks to raise awareness of young adults who were brought without visas to America as young children, or who have overstayed their visas while growing up, and the program that allows them to stay under certain conditions.

The Florida Democratic Party also issued a pro-DACA statement Thursday.

The pro-DACA efforts have included numerous meetings this month between Democratic lawmakers and local immigrants who are enrolled in or eligible for the program.

Fox News is reporting Thursday that Trump is expected to repeal the program any day.

Gillum, the mayor of Tallahassee, promised on Thursday that as governor he would do everything he could to protect those called “DREAMers,” named after the “Development Relief And Education For Alien Minors” bills filed several times by pro-immigration members of Congress in recent years.

“If they follow through, the White House’s decision to end DACA is a moral stain on this country,” Gillum declared in a statement issued Thursday by his campaign.

“These Dreamers have only ever called one country home: the United States of America. They are our family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers,” Gillum continued. “They represent a vibrant thread of our nation’s patchwork, and forcing more than 800,000 of them to leave the country, including more than 100,000 Floridians, will be a moral stain this Administration cannot erase. I promise to do everything I can to continue protecting these young Americans here in Florida.”

The Democrats statement read: “The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program embodies the best of America. Our country is stronger when hardworking families and young people can make meaningful contributions to our economy and society. America is the only home these young immigrants know. Ending DACA without an appropriate legislative solution would devastate Florida’s economy and the thousands of DREAMers who live, work, and study here. This would be a cruel and reckless decision by Donald Trump. Rather than tear families apart to score political points, the White House should work to implement bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform.”

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected]

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