Florida GOP gubernatorial candidates urge protections for 'Dreamers'

Florida GOP gubernatorial candidates urge protections for 'Dreamers'
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Two Republican candidates for Florida governor said Monday that they want to see Congress take action to help certain immigrants pending a highly anticipated announcement from President Trump.

Trump is expected to announce Tuesday whether he plans to cancel the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which shields from deportation those brought to the U.S. illegally as minors.

The White House will reportedly announce the end of the program with a six-month delay to give lawmakers an opportunity to help those affected by the move.

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Adam Putnam, the Florida agriculture commissioner, said in a statement to the Tampa Bay Times on Monday that it's important to end illegal immigration but that DACA recipients shouldn't be hurt.

“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,” he said. “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.”

Jack Latvala, a Florida state senator, said in a statement posted to his Facebook page that "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."

He said that "it's time for Congress to pass a law protecting Dreamers," using a term commonly used to describe DACA recipients. He also asked other GOP politicians in Florida to "join me in supporting these children so they can come out of the shadows and legally secure jobs."

Putnam and Latvala are seeking to succeed Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R), who is term-limited. The Republican primary will take place in August 2018.