Democratic Sen. Tester, Who Voted Against DREAM Act, Criticizes Trump DACA Repeal

Sen. Jon Tester / Getty
September 5, 2017

One of the five Democratic senators who joined Republicans to defeat the DREAM Act criticized President Donald Trump Tuesday for revoking similar protections of so-called "Dreamers."

In 2010, Senator Jon Tester (D., Mont.) voted against the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, which would have granted legal residency status to illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States as minors. Tester voted against a similar bill in 2007.

President Barack Obama subsequently side-stepped Congress by issuing an executive order called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Under the Obama executive order, "Dreamers" were protected from deportation with good behavior.

When Trump announced Tuesday that he was revoking DACA protections, Tester was one of the Democratic senators who criticized the decision.

"America's immigration system is badly broken and needs fixing, but breaking a promise to these children-who are here through no fault of their own-is not the solution," he said in a statement.

"Congress must work together, Democrats and Republicans, to secure our borders, crack down on folks illegally entering our country, and provide a way forward for innocent kids," Tester said.

Democratic Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly, who voted against the DREAM Act as a member of the House of Representatives, likewise criticized the decision.

"Upending existing protections for the nearly 10,000 young people in Indiana who have been living here for most of their lives isn’t the path we should take," he said.

West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin was absent for the 2010 DREAM Act vote, but later issued a statement indicating he would have opposed it. Manchin, the only other remaining Senate Democrat who did not support the bill, has not yet weighed in on Trump's repeal.