With his potential rivals critical of President Donald Trump's repeal of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival or DACA act, House Speaker Richard Corcoran on Tuesday commended the president for calling the provision that protected the children of unauthorized immigrants an "amnesty plan for illegal immigrants."
"President Trump made the right decision,'' Corcoran said in a statement. "The rule of law is the rule of law and no one should be above it. Anything less would have been a tacit acceptance of President Obama’s backdoor amnesty plan for illegal immigrants. And while Congress has shown little ability to get anything done (think repeal and replace of Obamacare), I just hope they don’t turn the opportunity the president has given them to deal with this illegal immigration problem into their own backdoor amnesty plan.”
Corcoran acknowledged the decision was difficult but targeted unnamed "apologists" for the inaction. "This illegal immigration mess we are in today is because of apologists consistently opposing every sensible idea to secure the border and constantly demanding we reward illegal behavior with citizenship,'' he said. "The American people are left with no choice but to enforce the law to its fullest extent."
Corcoran, who is considering running for the Republican nomination for governor next year, took an opposing view from many South Florida Republicans in Congress and Republican candidates for governor Jack Latvala and Adam Putnam. In statements released on Monday, Putnam, Florida's commissioner of agriculture whose office works closely with an industry dependent on migrant labor, and Latvala, a state senators from Clearwater, urged Congress to act but said that children should not be punished in the meantime.
“Our national immigration system is broken, and the federal government must fix it. We must secure our borders, end illegal immigration and rid our nation of sanctuary cities,” Putnam said in a statement. “But the children of illegal immigrants should not be punished for their parents’ wrongdoings. I am glad to see the President will allow Congress to develop a solution to replace Obama’s unconstitutional program.”
“We must lead with a compassionate heart, not by punishing children,” Latvala said in a statement. “Florida is a diverse state and our economic success depends on a strong diverse workforce. If DACA ends in 6 months it will have a disastrous impact not only on hundreds of thousands of bright, promising young people but also on our business climate.
“Congress has dropped the ball on this issue like so many others. It’s time for Congress to pass a law protecting Dreamers. I call on other leaders of the Republican Party in Florida to join me in supporting these children so they can come out of the shadows and legally secure jobs.”