U.S. Rep. Martha McSally

Rep. Martha McSally’s apparent decision opens up the race for the U.S. House in Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District.

Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Star 2017

U.S. Rep. Martha McSally, R-Arizona, has been asked to join an informal group of Republican congressional members working on border-security issues and a long-term fix to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, her office says.

McSally was asked by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan to join the group, as the Tucson Republican is the chairwoman of the Border and Maritime Security subcommittee and whose district includes 80 miles of U.S.-Mexico border, according to a news release from her office.

Over the past few weeks, McSally has repeatedly stated she believes it is the responsibility of Congress, not the president, to address the future of the DACA program, which allowed illegal immigrants who were brought here as children by their parents to be deferred from deportation proceedings. The program was started by ex-President Obama.

President Trump announced earlier this month he would end the program in six months. He later said he was “fairly close” to an agreement with congressional Democrats that would enshrine protections for the young immigrants, according to The Associated Press.

“President Trump is right to call on Congress to act, and I believe this is a historic opportunity to bring clarity for the 800,000 individuals whose status in the United States is currently subject to the political winds of different administrations that come to power,” McSally said in a statement. Earlier this month, McSally was part of a group of lawmakers who sent a letter to Ryan requesting that the House address DACA.

Contact reporter Joe Ferguson at jferguson@tucson.com or 573-4197.

Reporter

Reporter with the Arizona Daily Star. I cover politics as well as the city of Tucson and other municipalities in Southern Arizona.