MIAMI COUNTY — U.S. Rep. Warren Davidson (R-8th) addressed the government shutdown and other national issues during a roundtable discussion with reporters from the Troy Daily News and Piqua Daily Call on Thursday.
Davidson shared his opinions on a variety of topics including immigration, the state of the economy, net neutrality and education, an in-depth look at which will appear in the Feb. 4 edition of the Miami Valley Sunday News.
According to the Associated Press, Democrats balked on the measure in an effort to pressure the White House to cut a deal to protect “dreamer” immigrants — who were brought to the country as children and are now here illegally — before their legal protection runs out in March.
“It’s really a front-and-center issue now for the country and by Feb. 8 we’ll see. I don’t know, will they shut down the government again over that? I think we should fund America and keep working on this issue,” Davidson said.
Davidson said the reality of the immigration issue is there are people in the United States illegally, and “how do we deal with them?”
Davidson referenced former President Ronald Reagan’s immigration reform and compromise in 1986 regarding farm workers.
“If (Reagan’s) compromise worked so well, we wouldn’t be talking about the problem we are talking about now, right? That’s the difference. I think that’s where we are at with the dialogue with Democrats over DACA (Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals), but what can we actually agree to vote on?”
Davidson said, “If you just do a deal that creates legal status for a bunch of people illegally, but you don’t fix the broken immigration system, then, five or 10 years from now, you’ll be dealing with new batch of people that are here illegally.”
Davidson also noted DACA is not a law, but an executive action from President Barack Obama’s administration and “even the logic of DACA is broken.”
“How can you solve it? You have to fix the root cause,” he said.
On Wednesday, President Donald Trump said he’s open to an immigration plan that would provide a pathway to citizenship for hundreds of thousands of young people who were brought to the country as children and are now here illegally.
“We’re going to morph into it,” Trump told reporters Wednesday. “It’s going to happen, at some point in the future, over a period of 10 to 12 years.”
Trump’s pronouncements came as the White House announced it would unveil a legislative framework on immigration next week that it hopes can pass both the House and the Senate. The president’s remarks amounted to a preview of that framework. He said he’ll propose $25 billion for building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and $5 billion for other security measures.
Trump has given Congress until March to come up with a plan to protect the nearly 700,000 young people who had been protected from deportation and given the right to work legally in the country under the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. Trump announced he was ending DACA last year.
— The Associated Press contributed to this story
Follow Melanie Yingst on Twitter @Troydailynews
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