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Maine’s Federal Lawmakers Want DACA Kept In Place

Members of Maine’s congressional delegation want Congress to act to keep the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program in place. Known as DACA, President Donald Trump announced on Monday that he would end the program in six months.

DACA, established by an executive order by President Barack Obama, allows immigrants that entered the country illegally as minors to stay in the country through a renewable permit. Trump thinks it’s unconstitutional and wants Congress to address the issue.

“They are high school students, college students, starting their own businesses, productive Americans who want to serve in the military. We should not be doing this at this time and the president’s actions are basically ridiculous,” says Democratic U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine’s 1st District. “He’s got his plate full with having to deal with the rescue money for Hurricane Harvey, dealing with the appropriations process so that the government doesn’t shut down at the end of September. Raising the debt ceiling.”

Republican U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin of Maine’s 2nd District agrees with Trump that DACA is an overreach of presidential authority, but supports legislation to prevent deportation of those covered by the program.

Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins says Congress should act swiftly to protect those individuals from being deported. Independent U.S. Sen. Angus King says he is disappointed in Trump’s decision, but hopes Congress will act to pass a long-term solution to the problem.