Portman Says the Future for Dreamers Is a Job for Congress, Not the President

Oct 23, 2017

Portman says he supports some program for legal status for young adults who arrived here without papers when they were young children, but says President Trump was right to turn to Congress to accomplish that.

Education groups are expected to hit Washington this week to lobby Congress to provide legal status for so-called Dreamers – the now young adults without documents who arrived in the U.S. as small children. Among those they’re hoping to sway is Ohio’s GOP Sen. Rob Portman. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports he’s open to the idea.

The advocates are pushing for what they call a “clean Dream Act,” that would not require funding for the border wall or other tradeoffs that President Trump is demanding from Congress.  Portman says he’s long favored some form of the Dreamer program. But he says he objected to President Obama doing it by executive order after congressional negotiations collapsed. And Portman thinks Trump was right to suspend it.

“I don’t think it’s wrong that Congress is told, ‘Hey this is your responsibility, you ought to deal with it. But I would like to have the program be legislated so it is giving these young people and their families more certainty that frankly they don’t have under the current system.”

President Trump set a deadline of next March for Congress to act before the Dreamers who already are here face deportation. But the program already is accepting no new applications.