Arkansas Lawmakers Weigh In The DACA Program

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FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) -- Arkansas lawmakers weighed in about their views on the DACA program and how the situation should be handled going forward.

Not only would ending DACA affect these people who have lived in our state most of their lives, but it would also cause our state GDP to take a hit to the tune of about $236 million every year for the next decade.

“None of these people are criminals. You can't have a criminal record and receive DACA status. These are good standing, productive members of our state,” Rep. Greg Leding said.

Democrat Representative Greg Leding said ending this program will tear families apart.

“Most DACA recipients came here when they were six or younger. The average age of a DACA recipient today is 26. A quarter of them have a child that was born here in the U.S and three fourths of them have an immediate family that was born here in the U.S.,” he said.

Republican Representative Charlie Collins believes it's a mistake to focus on repealing the DACA program when we should be focusing on a comprehensive solution to immigration.

“By trying to tackle this problem we're putting the cart in front of the horse and it seems to me that these individuals are not the ones we should be most concerned about by any stretch,” Collins said.

Collins said we instead need to focus on securing our border and violent crimes committed by people who are here illegally. He thinks we could do this by building on the raise act proposed by Senator Tom Cotton.

“We've got an opportunity as American, President Trump, Republican Congress has an opportunity now to put in place an approach which can last for decades and decades and decades,” he said.

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is one of just nine attorney's general who are threatening legal action if President Trump doesn't end DACA.

If President Trump does end the program on Tuesday (Sept. 4), he has suggested that he will allow Congress six months to fix it.

That announcement from the President is expected to come down Tuesday morning.