Rep. Steve Pearce this week called on House Speaker Paul Ryan to find a “permanent solution” for 800,000 young Americans whose legal status is in jeopardy following the Trump administration’s decision to rescind a program that allowed them to remain in the country.
Earlier this week, Pearce’s office would not say if the Republican congressman agreed with or opposed Trump’s decision to cancel former President Obama’s executive action to create the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The congresswoman’s spokeswoman said it’s up to Congress – not the president – to deal with the issue legislatively.
DACA allows those who were brought into the U.S. illegally by their parents to stay legally, provided they meet certain conditions. Democrats in New Mexico’s delegation criticized the president’s decision.
On Thursday, Pearce – who is running for governor of New Mexico in 2018 – called for a legislative solution that is “fair and just to DACA recipients.” He added that many so-called DREAMERS participating in the DACA program, who could eventually be deported unless the law is changed, “know no home other than the United States.”
“Whether you agree with the decision by the Trump Administration or not, Congress has the power and the responsibility to provide long-term certainty for DREAMERS,” Pearce said in a statement. “It is Congress’ job to act – not whoever occupies the Oval Office.
“Since the creation of DACA in 2012, Congress has failed to act on behalf of those who benefit from the program by allowing a temporary solution to be all the certainty these young individuals receive: this is simply wrong,” he added. “We must formulate a permanent solution.”
Pearce this week also called on U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to investigate an Albuquerque abortion provider’s relationship with the University of New Mexico.
Southwestern Women’s Options in Albuquerque trained UNM medical students in providing abortion procedures, but the medical school canceled that arrangement in late 2015. The late-term abortion provider has also provided fetal tissue from the center’s abortion procedures to the UNM Health Sciences Center for medical research.
The Albuquerque clinic and UNMHSC officials contend the fetal tissue transfer is legal and integral to the study of human diseases.
Pearce and a congressional panel investigating fetal tissue research contend the 2007 Spradling Act, which establishes New Mexico law on the donation of body parts such as kidneys for medical purposes, as allowing for the donation or transfer of stillbirth fetuses and fetuses resulting from miscarriages. They cite a clause that says “not including a fetus that is the subject of an induced abortion” as prohibiting the transfer of human remains in such cases.
The congressional Select Panel on Infant Lives asked New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas to investigate both matters more than a year ago, but he has yet to issue any ruling.
“I believe the Department of Justice has a legal responsibility to look into these violations if the New Mexico Attorney General refuses to take action,” Pearce said in a statement.