The Weekly previously pointed out that all of Orange County’s Republican congressmen fell in line with President Donald Trump on ending Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) except for one: Ed Royce.
“The status of eligible DACA recipients should not change from one administration to the next,” the Brea representative said in a statement. “Congress should act now to provide a permanent, legislative solution that gives certainty to these kids. 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.”
Our story also noted that Dr. Mai-Khanh Tran, a Democrat seeking the 39th congressional district seat in 2018, reacted by bringing up Royce’s past opposition to the so-called DREAM Act, which would have allowed children of undocumented immigrants to stay, study and work in this country legally. When Congress failed to pass the DREAM Act, President Obama established the DACA policy.
We reported that Gil Cisneros, another Democrat gunning for Royce’s seat, pointed to the congressman’s past votes to defund DACA, and that another Dem challenger, Andy Thorburn, promoted his video titled “Inclusive Society” that calls for compassion to refugees and a pathway to citizenship for immigrants.
Now, yet another Democrat who wants to take Royce’s seat is essentially calling the longtime congressman a hypocrite.
“For someone who referred to the DREAM Act as ‘another amnesty attempt,’ Ed Royce has suddenly found a need to care for ‘these kids’ (as he calls them) now that he’s in a close re-election campaign,” reads a statement from the Phil Janowicz for Congress campaign. “This is blatant hypocrisy from a desperate politician attempting to run away from his far-right immigration positions.
“This is the same congressman who said: ‘For every illegal immigrant admitted, an American student or legal resident would be turned away.’ There is no data that backs up this claim. As a former educator, I saw firsthand the great contribution of these students in my classroom and across our community. Ed Royce must be held accountable for his past statements and for voting against the Dream Act. He can’t have it both ways just because this district is changing.”
Janowicz, who is president and CEO of Quill & Abacus, an education consulting firm focused on narrowing the opportunity gap for first-generation and low-income students, formerly taught chemistry at Cal State Fullerton. There, he founded the Supplemental Instruction program for chemistry, which provides extra instruction, mentoring and support for students.
As part of the Buena Park candidate’s latest blast, his campaign points to Royce’s Dec. 8, 2010, statement opposing to the Democratic Leadership’s attempt to pass the DREAM Act, which he referred to as “amnesty.”
“With every amnesty, we have had a problem with massive fraud,” Royce said at the time. There were no references then to “these kids,” “children who have only known America as their home” nor DREAMers having “positively contributed to this great country.” Who the DREAM Act would help, Royce said back then, were “all illegal immigrants.”
The Janowicz campaign also linked to a June 17, 2009, Orange County Register story that is posted on Royce’s congressional website. That is where Royce says of DREAMers being able to go to college: “For every illegal immigrant admitted, an American student or legal resident would be turned away at a time when every state university is raising tuition, and many are curtailing enrollment.”
By the way, the reason why Royce’s seat is attracting so many Democratic candidates? Hillary Clinton won the 39th congressional district with a majority of the vote by 8.6 points, the Republican registration advantage has shrunk dramatically since the district was drawn in 2011 (it’s now under 2 points), and the nationally respected Cook Political Report moved the 39th away from its previous “Likely Republican” column.