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McCain condemns Trump's move to end DACA; other GOP leaders say they'll pass larger reform

  • Republican Sen. John McCain called Trump's decision "the wrong approach" to immigration policy.
  • Sen. Jeff Flake called executive actions a poor substitute for permanent legislation in a tweet storm.
  • House Speaker Paul Ryan criticized Obama's executive order and said he welcomed the opportunity to pass legislation.

Republican Sen. John McCain denounced President Donald Trump's decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program shortly after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced it.

McCain, R-Ariz., called Trump's decision "the wrong approach" to immigration policy.

"I strongly believe that children who were illegally brought into this country through no fault of their own should not be forced to return to a country they do not know," McCain said in a statement. "The 800,000 innocent young people granted deferred action under DACA over the last several years are pursuing degrees, starting careers and contributing to our communities in important ways."

McCain said that although he disagreed with President Barack Obama's use of an executive order, reversing the policy now would be "unacceptable." He vowed to work with other lawmakers to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

Other Republicans also promised to push for comprehensive immigration reform.

Sen. Jeff Flake called executive actions a poor substitute for permanent legislation in a tweet storm. "The ball is back in Congress' court where it belongs," he said, in a tweet.

House Speaker Paul Ryan criticized Obama's executive order and said he welcomed the opportunity to pass legislation.

"It is my hope that the House and Senate, with the president's leadership, will be able to find consensus on a permanent legislative solution that includes ensuring that those who have done nothing wrong can still contribute as a valued part of this great country," Ryan said in a statement.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham will join Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin for a press conference about DACA on Tuesday afternoon.

Democrats were quick to condemn Trump's decision and urge Congress to act.