Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) joined several other GOP members of Congress in breaking with President Donald Trump over reports that he plans to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
In a statement released Monday, Lankford said the U.S. “must confront the nation’s out-of-date” immigration system, but that children shouldn’t be held accountable for the actions of parents who immigrated to the U.S. illegally.
“It is right for there to be consequences for those who intentionally entered this country illegally,” Lankford said in a statement, according to The Hill. “However, we as Americans do not hold children legally accountable for the actions of their parents.”
His statement comes after reports that Trump plans to end the DACA program, with a six month delay. DACA temporarily prevents the children of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as minors from getting deported while they pursue work permits in the U.S.
Lankford said the U.S. immigration system needs to be reformed, but said that change should be made through Congress.
“We must confront the nation’s out-of-date immigration policy and finally resolve the issues of strong border enforcement and merit immigration,” Lankford said.
“We must confront the nation’s out-of-date immigration policy and finally resolve the issues of strong border enforcement and merit immigration,” he said. “Policy reform must come from the American people through Congress. The Legislative and Executive Branch should put aside passivity and partisanship and finally modernize our immigration laws.”