OC Weekly: Democrats to host Andy Thorburn

September 9, 2017

Reaction to Tuesday's completely unsurprising announcement by Attorney General Jeff Sessions that the Trump administration is ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program received reactions from Orange County Members of Congress and announced candidates that pretty much split along partisan lines.


With one notable exception.


“The status of eligible DACA recipients should not change from one administration to the next," says Rep. Ed Royce (R-Brea) in a statement that was actually released on Labor Day—or the day before Sessions’ announcement but after reports came out over the weekend that Donald Trump would scrap DACA.


"Congress should act now to provide a permanent, legislative solution that gives certainty to these kids," continued Royce. "We should not deny residence to children who have only known America as their home, positively contributed to this great country, and passed a background check.”


However, Royce "has voted again and again against children who know only this country," counters Dr. Mai-Khanh Tran, a pediatrician who previously announced she would seek the Democratic nomination for the congressman's 39th district seat in 2018 due to his support for repeal of the Affordable Care Act.


"He has opposed the DREAM Act and has voted in the past to defund DACA," Tran continued of Royce. "It is now time for him to finally do the right thing by not just issuing empty statements, but by actually sponsoring a clean bill that simply makes DACA the law of the land."


Tran, who was a Vietnamese refugee at age 9 when she was carried off a plane by a U.S. Marine, accused the Trump administration of having "chosen to promote hate and fear by announcing they will end DACA." The 51-year-old Fountain Valley resident added, "As an immigrant myself, this fight is personal for me. I am saddened by the Trump administration’s decision, but I am also encouraged by the willingness of our community to speak up."


Gil Cisneros, a former decorated U.S. Naval officer and Democrat who has also announced he is seeking Royce's seat, also pointed to the Republican having "previously voted multiple times to defund the DACA program and send hundreds of thousands of innocent people back into the shadows."


“Congressman Royce and President Trump have made no effort to fix our broken immigration system," added Cisneros, who parlayed a fortune won from the California lottery in 2010 into creating with his wife The Gilbert & Jacki Cisneros Foundation that aims to improve Hispanic education in the country.  


“There are thousands of DREAMers in our community who have only known one home, the United States," said Cisneros. "They are productive members of our community and they are our friends, family and neighbors. Denying these kids the opportunity to succeed not only has a negative impact on our economy, it is just wrong."


On Labor Day, the Orange County Register published an opinion piece by Cisneros that began: “Right now, hundreds of thousands of residents are on the edge of losing their jobs. These neighbors are not in danger of being fired because of poor job performance. They are not worried about being laid off because their employers are downsizing. They are on the edge of being fired by Donald Trump as he considers destroying the DACA program.” He called on everyone to, "Tell Congress and Trump to protect DACA and pass real immigration reform.”


Andy Thorburn, a former classroom teacher, workers' rights advocate, businessman and another Democratic candidate for Royce's seat, marked the Trump administration's DACA decision by trumpeting his video titled "Inclusive Society."


Unveiled hours before Sessions' announcement, the ad is narrated by Thorburn, who says he believes in an America that is built upon "diversity, inclusiveness and opportunity," and which brings compassion to refugees along with a pathway to citizenship for immigrants.


Thorburn boasts of being "the most well-funded Democrat taking on a sitting GOP House member nationwide," with a $2 million war chest.



As originally posted on OC Weekly: http://www.ocweekly.com/news/daca-ca-ca-8400616