Years of bad immigration policy led to the latest government shutdown, according to the area’s congressional representative.

U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman, R-Glenbeulah, blamed Democratic colleagues for using immigration policy as “blackmail” in the recent shutdown of the federal government, and also hinted that such policies — from Republican and Democrat presidents alike — could spell “long-term disaster” for the country.

Although not always referring specifically to it, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was at the center of much of the congressman’s remarks last week Thursday at a town hall meeting he hosted in Rosendale — one of several stops Grothman made last week.

DACA came to the forefront of American politics last fall when President Donald Trump ordered a repeal of the policy program. ...

While recent efforts by both Democratic and Republican lawmakers have aimed to enshrine aspects of the DACA policy into legislation, Grothman speculated that a law mirroring DACA would recreate waves of undocumented immigration.

"If we just would pass a DACA[-like law] straight away, we would have the old problems immediately,” he said. “Right away again, people would come to this country illegally; right away, they would bring their young children; right away, people would say, ‘We have to do something special for the young children.’ And that would be a problem."

Read the full story in the Feb. 1, 2018 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.