“Dreamers” celebrate a victory but the fight for DACA is not over

Thousands of beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, also known as dreamers, are celebrating the Supreme Court decision that prevents the White House from eliminating the program. Despite this victory, there is still a long way to go to protect these young people.

On the morning of , the Supreme Court voted 5 to 4 in a ruling that said President Donald Trump’s intention to suspend DACA is unconstitutional. This decision protects thousands of dreamers from deportation. On that note, it is worth recounting this legal battle and the future of the program.

Litigation history

DACA was created on by then-President Barack Obama. The program assured nearly 700,000 immigrants who came to the country as children that if they meet various requirements, they will not be deported, and they can work and study in the United States.

On , the administration of President Donald Trump canceled DACA. This generated an avalanche of criticism. North Carolina joined one of four lawsuits that were filed in different federal courts.

In all of the federal lawsuits, the judges reinstated the program through different rulings in . District Judge John Bates of Washington DC issued a ruling on of that year. He declared that the legal reasoning by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for the termination of DACA was meager. He also described it as arbitrary, capricious, and unlawful.

Judge Bates gave the White House 90 days to provide legal (not political) justification for wanting to eliminate DACA. The Trump administration was unable to meet this requirement.

Ultimately, the proceedings reached the Supreme Court. On , Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in his decision that the Trump administration did not provide proper legal justification for ending the program.

We do not decide whether DACA or its rescission are sound policies, the judge wrote. We address only whether the agency complied with the procedural requirement that it provide a reasoned explanation for its action.

This means that the procedure was not acceptable; however, Roberts added that DHS may again attempt to eliminate DACA, if desired.

A new attempt

Although DHS will abide by the Supreme Court’s decision, the White House announced that it will once again work to eliminate the program.

The president did not take the ruling of the nation’s highest court as a defeat, but instead interpreted it as a request by the Supreme Court to resubmit the legal requirements needed in order to eliminate DACA.

We will be submitting enhanced papers shortly in order to properly fulfil the Supreme Court’s ruling & request. Trump wrote on his Twitter account on .

In addition, in a interview with NBC, acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf called DACA illegal. I don’t have the luxury to ignore the law. The program’s unlawful. We need to solve it, he said.

For more than three years, the Trump administration has used the lives of thousands of dreamers as pawns in an awful political game in order to please its ultra-conservative base. Today these young people can breathe easy, but this must not cause them to lower their guard.

DACA remains a temporary solution. There must be permanent legislation that allows dreamers a path to citizenship but that does not put their parents at risk of deportation. In this electoral year, verify which candidates want to be allies of the dreamers.

Diego Barahona A.

Periodista, editor, asesor, y presentador. De 2016 a 2019 el periodista más galardonado en Estados Unidos por los Premios José Martí. Autor del best seller: ¿Cómo leer a las personas? dbarahona@lanoticia.com

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