The Future of DACA

Kavya Weaver '20, News Editor

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On November 12, the Supreme Court was presented with a series of arguments regarding DACA as part of their process of evaluating the legality of the program, ultimately culminating in a decision that will affect the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans. DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) is an Obama-era program that “provides deportation protection and work permits to around 700,000 young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children” (CNN). The Trump Administration has attacked this program, arguing that the executive action used by former President Obama to create DACA was an overreach of authority. However, a series of lower court orders protecting DACA have blocked the administration’s efforts to end the program. Now, the Supreme Court is in the process of deciding whether or not to uphold the administration’s decision to terminate DACA. This process has left the immigrants protected by DACA (often called Dreamers) suspended in terrifying uncertainty and anxious anticipation for the justices’ verdict. If the program is ended, the Dreamers will become vulnerable to deportation and may lose their work permits. 

Because the Supreme Court currently leans conservative, DACA’s prospects of preservation appear bleak. Although there is a slim chance that the program could be extended for a little longer, it is most likely that the justices will side with President Trump, imperiling the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of immigrants and potentially leading to the forceful separation of countless families. The exact timing of the court’s ruling is difficult to predict, but the justices will probably issue their decision close to the end of June 2020, although it could come as early as January 2020. 

For the Dreamers and their allies, the next several months will be fraught with fearful anticipation for the court’s decision. Regardless of one’s personal political alignment, it is important for our nation to collectively consider and critically evaluate our country’s immigration policies. As xenophobia continues to fracture a growing number of families and threaten the livelihoods of thousands of immigrants, we must urge our government to consider the humanity and basic human rights of those whose lives will be affected by government policies. These values transcend political partisanship and must serve as the guiding focus of American leaders as the nation navigates an unprecedented era of immigration reform. 

 

Sources Cited: 

 

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/11/12/20961371/daca-supreme-court-dreamers-gorsuch-kavanaugh

 

https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/10/us/daca-supreme-court-march/index.html

 

https://www.npr.org/2019/11/12/776556916/daca-recipients-look-to-supreme-court-for-hope

 

https://www.nilc.org/issues/daca/daca-heads-to-scotus-scenarios/