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(Special to ulat Viral News)

CHICAGO (JGL) – The U.S. Supreme Court, in narrow 5-4 decision, had agreed on Thursday (June 18) to extend the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

program that allowed children of illegal immigrants to live and work in the U.S. without fear of deportation. 

The ruling will provide a reprieve to nearly 700,000 DACA immigrants called Dreamers, who joined the program initiated in 2012 by former President Barack Obama, who issued an executive order that President Trump wanted to undo. 


The court with Chief Justice John Roberts siding with the court’s four liberal justices, said that the Trump administration wrongly ended DACA. The majority called the decision to terminate the program an “arbitrary” and “capricious” violation of the law.

The case stemmed from the case 18-588 Trump v. NAACP where the Supreme Court struck down the decision of the Fifth Circuit “holding that two related Department of Homeland Security (DHS) discretionary enforcement policies, including an expansion of the DACA policy, were likely unlawful and should be enjoined.” The case No. 18-588 Trump v. NAACP is one of the 50 cases filed on this DACA issue in the lower courts.


The High Court also nullified the determination of DHS in September 2017 “that the original DACA policy was unlawful and would likely be struck down by the courts on the same grounds as the related policies. DHS thus instituted an orderly wind-down of the DACA policy. The questions presented are as follows: 1. Whether DHS's decision to wind down the DACA policy is judicially reviewable. And 2. Whether DHS's decision to wind down the DACA policy is lawful.”

In a dissenting opinion, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas said the DACA decision “is an effort (by the Legislative Branches) to avoid a politically controversial but legally correct decision.” He added, instead of tossing the matter to the Legislative Branches, the “majority has decided to prolong DHS’s initial overreach by providing a stopgap measure of its own.”

The narrow decision was hailed by DACA supporters but derided by opponents led by President Trump.


Filipino American Lawrence Benito, chief executive officer of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) said, “This is a great day for immigrants and for our entire nation. Hundreds of thousands of immigrants, including 42,000 in Illinois, will not need to fear arrest, deportation, and separation from their families.  They can remain in their communities and continue with the lives they have built in this country.”


 “To every single Dreamer who has been living in fear since Trump took office: Today and everyday, we stand with you,” Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) tweeted. “YOU ARE HOME.”

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">To every single Dreamer who has been living in fear since Trump took office: Today and everyday, we stand with you.<br><br>YOU ARE HOME. <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#HomeIsHere</a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Senator Bob Menendez (@SenatorMenendez) <a href="">June 18, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script> (<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">To every single Dreamer who has been living in fear since Trump took office: Today and everyday, we stand with you.<br><br>YOU ARE HOME. <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#HomeIsHere</a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Senator Bob Menendez (@SenatorMenendez) <a href="/

18, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>)

Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin in a speech on the Senate floor minutes after the ruling, said, the ruling urges “President Trump to finally end his cruel attempts to deport DACA recipients, who are commonly known as Dreamers.” He also urged the Senate to immediately take up and pass the bipartisan House-passed American Dream and Promise Act, which will establish a path to citizenship for Dreamers and immigrants with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or Deferred Enforced Departure (DED).”

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“These horrible & politically charged decisions coming out of the Supreme Court are shotgun blasts into the face of people that are proud to call themselves Republicans or Conservatives,” the president tweeted. “We need more Justices or we will lose our 2nd. Amendment & everything else. Vote Trump 2020!”


“The wait is over for now. I am ecstatic to hear about this ruling and there are no words to describe the relief,” said Elizabeth Cervantes, DACA recipient and ICIRR board member with South Suburban Immigrant Project.  “DACA has enabled me to provide for my family and move forward with my life.  The past few years have left me and many thousands of others anxious about our future, and as we expected the worst outcome, we never stopped working. The court has ruled in our favor and justice has prevailed.”

“As we celebrate today we do so knowing that DACA is not the end result we are seeking,” Cervantes continued. “We will continue to fight until everyone is able to live their lives with dignity and respect. That means providing access to full citizenship for all. That means ensuring that all our Black siblings, some of whom are also immigrants, live free from fear of being killed by police.


“That means defunding police and ICE, and instead funding our communities to ensure we can all thrive. Our work is not done. We have much to do to fight in our communities, in Springfield and in D.C. for our demands to make Illinois the most welcoming state in the country, and to get the immigrant vote out in huge numbers this November. But today, we celebrate our movement’s success in coming to DACA’s defense, because we did this.”

The Obama administration created DACA in 2012 for immigrants who arrived in the US as children and who met certain additional requirements.  DACA provides a two-year shield from deportation as well as authorization to work, but does not by itself offer a way to gain lawful permanent status.  The Trump administration’s attempt to rescind the program met several legal challenges, all of which the administration lost in the lower courts, leaving DACA in place for those immigrants who already had it.

Even with this victory, the Supreme Court ruling leaves open the possibility that the administration will again attempt to rescind DACA, this time following legal administrative procedures that it failed to follow previously.  This possibility calls for a more permanent solution for immigrants who had or who are otherwise eligible for DACA, as well as the millions of other immigrants who remain vulnerable to ICE enforcement and deportation.


ICIRR is calling for Congress and the White House to pass a clean version of the DREAM Act that does not also incorporate punitive measures such as funding for the border wall, ramped-up enforcement powers, or restrictions on asylum or visas.

Any version of DREAM Act should remove restrictions based on criminal history, in recognition of how communities of color are overpoliced and over-punished in our criminal justice system.  ICIRR also calls for restrictions on how ICE can use information provided by DACA applicants on their applications, an issue that ProPublica reported in April 2020, and is calling on members of the Illinois delegation to defund the deportation pipeline by defunding ICE and CBP when a budget vote comes up in the fall.

Finally, ICIRR calls on all immigrants and communities of color to make our voices heard by responding to the 2020 Census and by registering and voting in the November 2020 elections. 


“Our work is far from done,” said Benito.  “We need to continue to build the power of our communities not only to stop the attacks on DACA and other programs but to move toward a more inclusive and compassionate vision of society. The fact that 2020 is an election year is not lost on us. We will be getting the immigrant vote out this November in support of advancing a racial equity agenda..”

This Supreme Court ruling is a victory for the Asian American and broader immigrant community. It is the result of the most impacted community members marching 230 miles from New York to D.C., holding vigils outside of the Supreme Court, amongst many other actions across the country. Organizations like HANA Center and our national partner NAKASEC and other affiliates can now focus on new DACA applications and renewals, and organizing towards a permanent solution for young immigrants and their families. #Citizenship4All (Contact reporter: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

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