The Supreme Court on Monday declined to clear the way for the Trump administration to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that protects about 700,000 young immigrants from deportation. These young immigrants that are nick named “Dreamers” could remain in an uncertain legal state for months unless Congress acts to make their status permanent.
President Donald Trump ended the DACA program last September, calling it an unconstitutional use of executive power by former president Barack Obama and reviving the threat of deportation for immigrants who had been brought to the United States illegally as young children.
But two federal judges have ordered the administration to maintain major pieces of the program while legal challenges move forward, notably by requiring the administration to allow people enrolled in it to renew their protected status. The Supreme Court’s decision on Monday not to hear the government’s appeal will keep the program alive for months.
That will temporarily shield the young immigrants who already had signed up for the DACA program from immediate deportation, and allow them to keep working legally in the United States. Their status lasts for two years and is renewable.
The court’s decision also could relieve the immediate political pressure on lawmakers to permanently address the status of those immigrants, or to deal with the additional one million Dreamers who had never signed up for the DACA program. They remain at risk of deportation if immigration agents find them.
President Trump has repeatedly condemned Democrats in recent days, accusing them of not caring about the young immigrants. In one recent tweet, he said that Republicans “stand ready to make a deal” to protect the Dreamers from deportation.
But Democrats, and some Republicans, accuse the president and his uncompromising conservative White House advisers of using the dreamers as leverage for changes to the immigration system that conservative, anti-immigrant activists have long sought.
Advocates for immigrants, including groups that represent Dreamers, say lawmakers should reject proposals like the one from President Trump that would boost border security, end the ability for immigrants to bring their parents and siblings to the United States, and dismantle a visa program for immigrants from underrepresented countries.
“We are pleased that the Supreme Court is allowing the normal appellate process to run its course,” said Theodore J. Boutrous Jr., who represents people affected by the program.
“DACA is a lawful and important program that protects young people who came to this country as children and who know this country as their only home. The Dreamers have relied on DACA to make decisions about their education, jobs, and families and to make valuable contributions to society as doctors, lawyers, teachers, and members of the military.”
Blogged by Deja Miller