“Dreamers” Given More Time after Supreme Court Rules against Trump
Good news appeared on Monday for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA) could not be immediately shut down by the Trump Administration. The decision of the court bought more time for these “Dreamers” as the dismantling of DACA is challenged by numerous Democratic States.
The resolution reached on Monday was expected by many within the legal community, but still was a major blow to the Justice Department and White House. However, the decision is far from the end of the lengthy debate on the future of DACA, and it remains to be seen whether this Obama Era program will survive under the Trump Presidency.
Though the controversy over the DACA program and its young recipients, also known as “Dreamers,” has been a recent issue, the policy itself has been around since 2012. Created by former President Barack Obama, DACA allows children who were taken to the United States before the age of 16 a path to citizenship, as wells as an education, proper documents, and opportunities for employment.
Back in October of 2017, the newly elected President Donald Trump decided to shut down the program as part of his campaign promise to crack down on illegal immigration. His actions led to widespread protests as well as demands for congress to protect these vulnerable young immigrants. Consequently, multiple State Courts took action against the President’s measure, halting the DACA repeal and beginning a battle that has moved all the way to the steps of the Supreme Court.
By rejecting the Trump administration's appeal, “Dreamers” can continue to renew their protected status for up to two years and be protected from immediate deportation. In addition to reducing the pressure on immigrants entered into the program, Monday’s ruling also gave Congress more time to act on the fate of DACA.
Democrats and Republicans have failed to come to a consensus on legislation to protect “Dreamers” despite major public support for their protection. Numerous attempts at bipartisan action have failed, due in part to President Trump demanding funding for the border wall in return for any action on DACA. As midterm elections creep closer, Congress is less and less likely to act, preferring to wait until after elections to make any major changes.
The Trump Administration did not seem to be overly daunted by Monday’s result. D.O.J. spokesman Devin O’Malley declared, “We will continue to defend D.H.S.’s lawful authority to wind down DACA in an orderly manner.” The real outcome the White House is concerned with will be the eventual result of the case, which has the potential to upset the President’s sweeping plan to reform immigration.
For the moment, the 700,000 immigrants that DACA protects can breathe easy, knowing that they will be protected while the U.S. Court of Appeals makes the final decision on the legality of the program that has welcomed them into the United States of America. When that ruling will actually be made is another important question, with Constitutional Lawyer Carl Tobias from the University of Richmond estimating the court would, “probably not rule until next year.”
Until then, the “Dreamers” are left in limbo, not knowing if they will be forced to leave the United States, which, for many of them, has been their only home.