The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), is an executive memorandum proclaimed by President Obama in 2012. It granted individuals who arrived in the United States as minors without the proper documentation or overstayed a visa, the ability to apply for deferred action from deportation and granted a work permit for a 2-year period.
The DACA recipients, also known as Dreamers, have never known another place to call home. Many of these recipients arrived at a young age with their parents dreaming of a culture that seemed inclusive.
But the facade of American inclusivity has been dropped with the election of Donald J. Trump. President Trump repealed DACA on September 2017 with the pretense that the executive memorandum was unconstitutional. Ending the program threatened existing DACA recipients whose deferment period was about to end.
The repeal was used as leverage in return for funding on President Trump’s border wall. On December 29, 2018 President Trump tweeted, “The Democrats have been told, and fully understand, that there can be no DACA without the desperately needed WALL at the Southern Border and an END to the horrible Chain Migration & ridiculous Lottery System of Immigration etc. We must protect our Country at all cost!”
However, the 9th Circuit Court reversed the President’s decision stating that the reversal put Dreamers in a precarious situation whether they would be deported or not. While new applicants were turned away, the courts ruled in favor of existing applicants and allowed them to apply for continued deferment from deportation.
Trump quickly went to Twitter to dismiss the decision and conspired to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court. Now the Supreme Court will decide the fate of roughly 700,000 Dreamers, giving a sense of uncertainty for their future.
The Supreme Court case is not about whether DACA itself is unconstitutional, but rather if the method in how DACA was implemented grants too much power to the Executive Branch.
A decision may not be given until June. In the meantime, we urge Dreamers to seek renewal on DACA and continued avocation from allies to their Representatives to get something done in the legislative branch without Trump’s influence. The future of Dreamers is not only on the line, but the values our American society holds dear.
The fate of a 700,000 undocumented individuals is in the hand of a few, and that is unamerican.