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Supreme Court DACA ruling supports dreamers

Supreme Court DACA ruling supports dreamers

Supreme Court DACA ruling supports dreamers
June 23
14:00 2020

The Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that the Trump administration’s plan to end the Dreamer’s Act could no longer proceed. The plan would leave 700,000 immigrants unprotected and at risk for deportation for arriving in the country as young as infants. The Court ruled that the Trump administration’s reasoning behind its decision to end the program was “arbitrary and capricious” in violation of federal law.

The Deferred Action for Children Arrivals otherwise known as DACA, established under Obama’s presidency in 2012, “permits certain individuals who came to the United States as children to meet several criteria to request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and eligibility for work authorization.” The program was limited to those between 15 and 30 years old, who were attending or graduated from high school and who didn’t have a felony criminal record, along with a fee to apply and renew that is nearly $500.

The dismantling of the act became one of Trump’s most pushed for promises. Though in 2017, he had tweeted, “Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military?”

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. who wrote the majority opinion, quoted from a brief, that many dreamers have “enrolled in degree programs, embarked on careers, started businesses, purchased homes and even married and had children” since being protected by DACA. In a Center for American Progress article, the economic benefits DACA recipients bring are identified, “The largest occupation groups for DACA recipients are food preparation and office and administrative support at 66,000 workers each, as well as sales at 61,000 workers. Other notable fields include management and business occupations, in which 28,000 DACA recipients are employed. [Also,] education and training occupations, with 16,000 DACA recipients employed. [As well as] health care practitioner and support occupations, with 27,000 DACA recipients employed.”

It further breaks down the ways they fiscally contribute to the economy, “DACA recipients and their households pay $5.7 billion in federal taxes and $3.1 billion in state and local taxes annually. In addition to this, DACA recipients boost Social Security and Medicare through payroll taxes.”

With hundreds of thousands of significant lives at stake that not only contribute to society but support the economy, the “unlawful” and “unconstitutional” parts of the program have been in question since Trump’s campaign in 2016. Roberts wrote for the court that the administration “did not pursue the end of the program properly,” in the process of questioning its validity. “We do not decide whether DACA or its rescission are sound policies,” Roberts wrote, “We address only whether the agency complied with the procedural requirement that it provide a reasoned explanation for its action.”

Besides, Dreamers not only should be looked at as beneficial counterparts to a country they not yet belong to, but as human beings whose parents chose this life for them. The initial purpose of the program was to create safety for those undocumented and the ability to work while trying to gain citizenship. In the eyes of a country so geared towards work and bringing benefits to the economy, one would think this is the best solution for the problem they see at hand.

First wanting to be decided in June of 2018, the justices met later that year and waited an additional seven months to even hear arguments they agreed to a year prior. Since the program’s possible shut down, no new cases have been accepted since 2017 though current cases have now been extended protection into 2022. Back in 2019, the Supreme Court’s decision to neither grant nor deny the Trump administration’s request meant it would fall back to lower courts. At the time there were five different court cases considering aspects of DACA and the repeal winding their way through lower courts. Four of those cases deal with the legality of the repeal, while one case in Texas questions the legality of the program itself. “It’s highly unusual for an administration to ask the Supreme Court to adopt a case before lower courts have even issued their opinions,” Staff attorney at the National Immigration Law Center, Araceli Martínez-Olguín said in a news in brief.

The next step forward for Dreamers is the opening of applications for new recipients to be under review.

Featured Illustration: Austin Banzon

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Lindsey Donovan

Lindsey Donovan

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