WASHINGTON- Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) on Tuesday said any agreement to protect the 800,000 recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program from deportation must include enhanced border security.
“Any potential DACA agreement has to include robust border security,” Grassley said in his opening statement at a hearing designed to explore options for crafting a legislative solution.
Grassley said that enhanced border security does not have to include the construction of “a wall” along the U.S.-Mexico border but he insisted that “tactical infrastructure-like fencing is a part of the answer.”
Grassley said other border security measures should include improved “technology, funding for more law enforcement personnel and equipment” as well as statutory changes to prevent detained undocumented immigrants from being released and subsequently reentering the U.S.
Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) in her opening statement called on Congress the pass the Dream Act.
“These youths should not be political footballs,” Feinstein said.
“They shouldn’t be asked to choose between their future and their families. And they should have the certainty of permanent immigration status,” she added.
The Trump Administration last month announced its intention to phase out DACA in six months.
Trump has said that if Congress does not act within the six-month window that he will take some sort of executive action.
Democrats have said they will not rule out blocking key Republican legislative priorities if Congress does approve legislation protecting DACA recipients.