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Supreme Court Gives DACA Thumbs Up, Trump Thumbs Down

06-18-2020
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The US Supreme Court on Thursday gave a firm rebuke to President Trump, and a major win to the so-called "Dreamers."  Trump tried to end the DACA program allowing nearly 700,000 undocumented immigrants to remain in the country. In a 5-4 decision, the justices labeled Trump's action "arbitrary and capricious" and ruled the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program can continue.   

It's a long-awaited win for Dreamers – young immigrants whose parents brought them to the United States. The DACA program has given them temporary legal status, allowing them to attend college and work.

President Trump took to Twitter to take issue with the Court ruling against his 2017 decision to end DACA. It instead ruled to keep alive this Obama administration program.   

Trump: 'Shotgun Blasts Into the Face'

The president also took a swipe at other recent Court action, tweeting out, "These horrible & politically charged decisions coming out of the Supreme Court are shotgun blasts into the face of the people that are proud to call themselves Republicans or Conservatives."

And he followed that up with the question, "Do you get the impression that the Supreme Court doesn't like me?"

But there was rejoicing among the DACA Dreamers, some chanting outside the Court, "Here to stay!  Here to stay!"
 
'I Am Ecstatic'
 
Among them was DACA recipient Jorge Benitez-Perez, who told CBN News, "I came to this country at the age of five.  I am now 20 years old.  The majority of my life has been spent in the United States.  I am an American."

He said of the ruling, "Today's decision means a lot to me. It means a lot to my fellow brother and sisters that are also DACA recipients."

"I am ecstatic. However, I know this is just one step in the right direction for fair immigration reform," Gabriela Hernandez told CBN News. "There are 11 million immigrants who do not have any kind of protection. So we need to get something done for them."

In the Frontlines of the War Against COVID-19

Many in the healthcare industry also might be pleased with this decision. Liz Dong of Voices of Christian Dreamers explained why on CBN News' Faith Nation.

"Dreamers contribute to this country. We call this country home," Dong said.  "There have been more than 29,000, reports show, DACA recipients serving on the frontlines of healthcare."

If DACA ended and those immigrants were to be deported or lose their work authorization, World Relief's Matt Soerens told Thursday afternoon's edition of CBN's Newswatch it would be a tragedy.

"If that would happen, it could be a serious hardship especially, for example, for hospitals who are right now dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and who rely on these young people who are educated, who are playing essential roles, but whom they would not be legally allowed to employ if that work authorization was revoked," Soerens explained.

Could Have Worked This Out, but Congress said 'No Wall or No Deal'

Congress and the Trump administration have worked for three years to come up with a DACA deal, but Democrats balked as long as a broad immigration deal including DACA also contained Trump's Wall between Mexico and the US.

Soerens stated, "We hope Congress won't see this decision as an out for them, but will actually more urgently take this up.   It underscores the need for broader reform."

Hispanic Christian leader Rev. Sam Rodriguez also chided Congress for not making DACA permanent months or years ago, stating, "Congress could have achieved this on at least three occasions over the last three years and on each occasion, they opted for political expediency over justice."

'The Path Ahead Remains Uncertain'

But this isn't over quite yet and the ruling provides no permanent solution. Immigration lawyer Diane Hernandez warned, "The Trump administration is likely to try to rescind the program again.   The path ahead remains uncertain for DACA recipients, most of whom still have no path to citizenship or alternative legal status in the US."

So unless Congress settles this permanently, DACA could end up right back at Supreme Court. 

Carrie Severino of the Judicial Crisis Network hopes so because she feels the Court definitely got it wrong Thursday. The Obama administration went right around Congress creating DACA out of whole cloth. That was one of the Trump administration's main reasons for terminating it in 2017: it's illegal status. But lower court after a lower court blocked Trump, with the issue finally landing before the Supreme Court.

'Delivered a Blow to the Rule of Law'

Blasting its 5-to-4 decision Thursday, Severino tweeted, "This is nothing more than a double standard. It should have been straightforward that the Trump administration had the discretion to take executive action to undo executive action that was unlawful from the start."

"The court today delivered a blow to the rule of law in striking down the Trump Administration's lawful action to end the Obama administration's unconstitutional DACA program," added Jessica Anderson at Heritage Action for America.  

She continued, "The program was created against the will of the American people and outside our laws to effectively grant amnesty to hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants."

Meanwhile, top Democrats are rejoicing.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pointed out DACA's popularity among Americans, saying, "Three-fourths of the people who vote support the Dreamers.  Large numbers of Republicans, Independents, over 60 percent of people who support President Trump support the Dreamers."

Soerens backed that up, saying, "The polls show that roughly three out of four white Evangelical Christians support allowing these people to stay, as do the majority of all Americans."

'Huge Burden Lifted Off Their Shoulders'

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer stated, "This is a wonderful, wonderful day for the DACA kids, their families, and for the American dream. We've always believed in immigration in America."

He continued, "These wonderful DACA kids and their families have a huge burden lifted off their shoulders. They don't have to worry about being deported. They can do their jobs."

"I'm thrilled for the victory Dreamers got today," chimed in Sen. Bob Menendez, D-New Jersey, saying of them, "While we are rejoicing in this reprieve the Supreme Court is giving them, we are also cognizant that the U.S. Senate should put up for a vote the legislation passed by the House of Representatives that would give Dreamers a finality."

More Huge Headlines Just Ahead

This is the second major decision from the justices this week, and with 15 rulings still to be announced, more huge headlines will likely be coming out of the high court before this term ends in a couple of weeks.   

Meanwhile, the high court's DACA decision ultimately pushes the issue back to the Trump administration and Congress. And it seems certain that it will highlight immigration as a top campaign issue in an election year unlike any other.

And Trump isn't admitting defeat at the hands of a Supreme Court that now includes two of his nominees. He doubled down, vowing to release a new list of potential nominees just in time for November's election.

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