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Florida Gov. Rick Scott's Op-Ed Supporting DREAMers Called ‘Disingenuous' by Opponents

What to Know

  • Scott penned the column in Tuesday’s edition of USA Today, saying that he doesn’t want children punished for the actions of their parents.
  • Scott supported a policy sponsored by several South Florida members of Congress that would allow many DREAMers to stay through requirements.

A recent op-ed piece written by Florida Governor Rick Scott seemingly supporting allowing DREAMers to stay in the United States is being met with backlash from some politicians who say it’s a contradiction to his actions in the private sector and in office.

Scott penned the column in Tuesday’s edition of USA Today, saying that he has been an outspoken critic of illegal immigration but doesn’t want children punished for the actions of their parents.

“The United States has become the home for these children — and this should absolutely not be a partisan issue, or even a political issue,” Scott wrote. “While I understand that they did not arrive here in accordance with our country’s immigration laws, it is simply not right to hold these children accountable for that.”

Progressive advocacy group For Our Future hosted a press conference call Friday morning, questioning the Governor’s commitment to the immigrant cause - both as an elected official and while he was in the private sector running hospital corporations. 

Congressman Ted Deutsch, one of the featured speakers, insisted the governor has a confusing record on protecting immigrants.

“The governor cannot hide from his record and he can’t pick and choose when to demonize immigrants and went to pretend to be their savior," said the South Florida Democrat.

The future of DREAMers, a system created under the DACA Program that has been a hot topic of late, is in the hands of Congress as Senate Democrats have said they will not support funding to keep the government funded and open – a plan that must be approved by midnight Friday to avoid a shutdown – without a plan to allow those brought in as children to stay.

President Donald Trump has said the program will go away in March if immigration changes aren’t made, including funding for his planned border wall.

Scott supported a policy sponsored by several South Florida members of Congress, including Reps. Carlos Curbelo, Mario Diaz Balart and Illana Ros-Lehtinen, that would allow many DREAMers to stay through a series of requirements.

He also criticized former President Barack Obama for not working with Congress during his time in office to work on a compromise on the issue.

“In Florida, we pride ourselves on being the gateway to the world. Many Dreamers live in our state because they are in search of what we all care about: a good job, a good education and the ability to live in a safe community,” wrote Scott. “It’s time for Washington to secure our borders and to do the right thing for these kids by removing the uncertainty hanging over their future goals and dreams.”

Scott, who is term limited and has been rumoured to be a potential Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2018, also took a shot at Washington, D.C. and members of both parties over the idea of “comprehensive” immigration reform.

“Washington struggles to do anything right, let alone to do something comprehensively right. Whenever they talk about a “comprehensive” anything in Washington, one thing you know for certain — nothing will get done,” he wrote.

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