Florida Gov. Rick Scott urged President Donald Trump on Friday not to summarily end an Obama-era program that that protects from deportation immigrants brought into the country illegally as children.
Amid rampant speculation that Trump on Tuesday will stop the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, Scott said in a statement that DACA recipients should be given a reprieve.
“I do not favor punishing children for the actions of their parents,” Scott said. “These kids must be allowed to pursue the American Dream, and Congress must act on this immediately.”
He endorsed legislation filed by Miami Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo and North Carolina Republican Sen. Thom Tillis that would offer an eventual path to citizenship to immigrants who arrived illegally before Jan. 1, 2012, and were 16 years old or younger when they entered.
Those people have been dubbed “Dreamers,” after the failed legislation that first attempted to give them legal status, the DREAM Act.
“We love the Dreamers,” Trump told reporters Friday. “We love everybody.”
The governor’s statement marked a rare break with the president, Scott’s Republican ally and longtime friend. Scott chaired a Trump political action committee during the 2016 presidential campaign and has been a frequent visitor to the White House and, most recently, Trump’s golf course in Bedminster, N.J., for lunch with the president.