Rick Scott calls on Congress to protect 'Dreamers'

Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) on Friday called on Congress to protect recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, as President Trump weighs ending the program.

Scott said that while he disagreed with the Obama-era action, which temporarily defers deportation for those brought to the U.S. illegally as minors who applied for work permits, recipients should be protected.

"President Obama was wrong to address the Dreamers issue by Executive Order. He should have done it in conjunction with Congress, which is how we make laws in our democracy," Scott said in a statement. "But this issue must be addressed. I do not favor punishing children for the actions of their parents."

"These kids must be allowed to pursue the American Dream, and Congress must act on this immediately," he said.

Scott issued the statement after the White House said that President Trump would announce his decision on whether to end the DACA program on Tuesday.

Trump is under pressure to make a decision on the program as he faces the threat of legal action from Texas and several other states against the program unless he rescinds it by Tuesday.

"The decision itself is weighing on him," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Friday. "The president's priorities of immigration are to create a system that encourages legal immigration and benefits our economy and American workers.

Scott, a strong supporter of Trump, joins a growing number of Republicans who are pushing the president to keep protections for DACA recipients, commonly referred to as "Dreamers."

Several House Republicans who represent large Hispanic populations are urging Trump not to end the program, and Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Friday that Trump shouldn't end the program.

"I actually don't think he should do that and I believe that this is something Congress has to fix," Ryan told WCLO Janesville.