Dreamers rally in favor of the DACA program’s protection

Photo courtesy of rob walsh, Unsplash

Some New Jersey Dreamers traveled to Washington D.C. last week to participate in a rally in favor of the Supreme Court upholding a lower court's decision in blocking President Trump from killing the Dreamer program.

Three lower courts, California, New York and the District of Columbia, had ruled that the President, in his attempts to kill the Dreamer program, has violated the Administration Procedure Act and has blocked them.

The Administrative Procedure Act is an established law that makes it so that federal agencies become beholden to a legal scope and must follow administrative rules; otherwise, action would be blocked. The administrative rule in this scenario is that the president’s move to kill DACA happened too suddenly and quickly.

Arguments are being heard on both sides. The Supreme Court will now weigh in on an issue that has the ability to affect 660,000 undocumented immigrants.

But what is DACA? DACA stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Deferred Action is a legal term created by the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), meaning "a discretionary determination to defer a deportation of an individual as an act of prosecutorial discretion."

Deferred action was designed to lower the priority of deportation of people who hold this status to the point where they would not be deported. This would allow illegal immigrants to ascertain work permits and begin existing in the United States in a quasi-legal manner.

The action, which was created by President Obama, allowed children of illegal immigrants to ascertain this status. 

Republicans have railed against the DACA program since its inception. They feel that the INA purpose was being misused to allow undocumented immigrants more privileges. They charged that this was executive overreach especially since President Obama failed to get the DREAMER act passed, which would have given these undocumented immigrants these privileges plus a path to citizenship.

Republicans showed disdain when Obama attempted to pass DAPA, a program like DACA that included all undocumented immigrants. Multiple states sued and the action was blocked by lower courts. A Supreme Court that only had 8 members heard the case and upheld the decision of the lower court due to a judicial tie of 4-4, preventing the Court from acting on the case.

Many people fear now that the Supreme Court is now filled after the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh and the fact the Court has swung towards a conservative lean that the Supreme Court's decision on this case will allow the removal of DACA recipients.

DACA undocumented immigrants had to purposely reveal themselves and their information including their location to achieve the status. So if the Supreme Court made a decision allowing the President to end the program, ICE would now be able to deport the DACA recipients knowing full well where they are.