Unions, elected officials weigh in on Supreme Court’s review of DACA

Stephon Johnson | 7/3/2019, 10:30 a.m.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decided to settle the fate of DREAMers once and for all.
(File Photo) President Donald Trump is expected to end a program that protected undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children -- so-called "Dreamers" -- from deportation, four sources familiar with the decision told CNN. Two of the sources said the plan is to have a six-month delay in any action regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Erik Cox/Instagram

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decided to settle the fate of DREAMers once and for all.

Last week, the court announced that it would take on a Deferred Action for Children Arrivals case next term. The court is expected to reach a decision, however, next summer.

Héctor Figueroa, president of 32BJ SEIU, found it unnerving that the Supreme Court wants to review DACA given recent lower court decisions. He also wants the U.S. Senate to pass the Dream and Promise Act (H.R. 6).

“Given the thoroughness of several lower courts decisions in favor of continuing DACA, we find it troubling that the Supreme Court today announced its intention to also review the Trump administration’s attempt to end the program,” stated Figueroa. “This unnecessary review will increase the worry and uncertainty suffered by hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients. It also makes Senate passage of the Dream and Promise Act more urgent than ever. At different times, all sides have spoken in support of congressional relief for DREAMERS.”

The House passed the Dream and Promise Act in the spring. It provides fair and comprehensive relief for Dreamers and for hundreds of thousands of residents with Temporary Protected Status and Deferred Enforced Departure. DREAMers are immigrants who entered the country as minors. The court’s order leaves legal representation for both sides time to set up legal arguments for late fall/early winter.

American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten reminded the public that DACA recipients are people. “While the Trump administration makes a daily show of turning immigrant lives into political footballs and turning a blind eye to the immoral conditions at the border, it’s important to remember our DACA brothers and sisters’ fate is still hanging in the balance,” said Weingarten in a statement. “DACA recipients are our friends, neighbors and colleagues. They are teachers, nurses, college professors and public employees. They are part of our national identity, and they play a critical role in our communities and in our economy. The 800,000 young immigrants in this country who have DACA status work hard to fulfill a dream their parents could only imagine, all while living day to day in a political purgatory.”

In 2012, former president Barack Obama created DACA via an executive order to protect young immigrants from deportation. President Donald Trump tried to end the program in 2017 leading congress to try and salvage it. DACA protects 700,000 people. New York Attorney General Letitia James on the Supreme Court said she’d never stop fighting for immigrant rights and freedoms after the Trump administration used young immigrants as “bargaining chips.”

“Millions of immigrant parents left their homes, risked their lives, and endured years of hardship simply to come to the United States and provide their children with a better life,” stated James. “When those children came out of the shadows to go to college, serve in the armed forces, or just become tax paying members of society, the federal government made a promise that these DACA recipients would be able to live their lives free from the fear of sudden, arbitrary deportation.”