Rabb pushes bill that upholds DACA while keeping communities safer

HARRISBURG, Sept. 8 – The fate of the immigration program Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) currently lies in the hands of Congress, as state Rep. Chris Rabb fights to protect thousands of undocumented families in Pennsylvania, while, at the same time, helping law enforcement keep communities safer.

“I am furious about the President’s decision to end the DACA program,” Rabb said. “My main focus now is to do what’s in my power to ensure families aren’t torn apart here in Pennsylvania.”

Rabb introduced House Bill 1604, also known as the Police and Community Safety Act, which would protect DREAMers, their parents, and other undocumented residents who live in the commonwealth. The proposal would also allow state and local police officers to concentrate on their priority of protecting residents from violent offenders and not be responsible for immigration enforcement unless directed by a federal court order.

“Research proves working with federal immigration enforcement made it difficult for local police departments to do their jobs,” Rabb explained. “If a witness or victim was in the country with an expired visa, he/she was less likely to cooperate for fear of being forced out of their home and separated from their loved ones.” 

Rabb pointed out the legal and financial burdens that weigh down on already cash-strapped police agencies when officers erroneously detain U.S. citizens at the request of the federal government.

“I am now calling on my fellow lawmakers to stand with me in protecting innocent immigrants whose ambition is to simply have the opportunity to live the American dream,” Rabb said. “Who are we to rob them of that dream?”  

H.B. 1604 is currently in the House state government committee where its majority chairman, Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler), has not allowed it to be voted on.