The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is an Obama-era immigration policy that protects approximately 700,000 immigrants who brought to the U.S. illegally as children. The purpose of DACA is twofold: protect these young undocumented immigrants from deportation and provide them with work permits. The argument behind this program is that the children themselves didn’t choose to break the law, and so should not be punished for the actions of their parents. Recent research has proven that DACA has increased the employment status for many eligible candidates and ultimately reduced the number of immigrant households living in poverty.
Trump vs. DACA
Since his election campaign, President Trump has made his opinion on legal and illegal immigration very clear. However, his approval rating has dropped below 35% as Americans are becoming more and more frustrated with his controversial anti-immigration tactics – including the family separation policy – and the current government shutdown (over funding for a 100-mile border wall at the Texas-Mexico border).
President Trump has voiced his disapproval of the DACA program many times in the past. In 2017, the Trump Administration announced that it intended to completely phase out the program. To support the President’s objective, a coalition of 7 states filed a lawsuit to challenge the constitutionality of the DACA program. If the rescission of DACA becomes effective, nearly 700,000 people may be forced into the deportation process.
Last February, Sanaa Abrar, advocacy director of United we Dream, stated, “DACA’s protections have provided hundreds of thousands of immigrant youth with peace of mind and safety as well as work and educational opportunities. Shamefully, Trump has done everything he can to rip that apart and is playing a cruel game with the lives of immigrant youth.
In early January, President Trump projected that the Supreme Court would quickly issue a ruling on DACA and his border wall. However, the Supreme Court’s inaction is allowing the program to continue, effectively reducing Trump’s already-limited leverage in border wall negotiations. Because the Supreme Court’s schedule is now full for 2019, it’s likely that the justices won’t make a final decision until 2020.
According to Lydia Wheeler of The Hill, “Solicitor General Noel Francisco has asked the Supreme Court to make a final decision on whether the rescission is lawful or not. Francisco’s request, however, was unusual because it asked the justices to take up the issue before the regional appeals courts have weighed in…He also argued that the very existence of this litigation and resulting uncertainty would continue to impede efforts to enact legislation addressing the legitimate policy concerns underlying the DACA policy.”
During a televised address on January 19, 2019, President Trump offered to extend protections for DACA and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients in return for his border wall and an end to the government shutdown, but Democrats dismissed his olive branch.
Regardless, the dreamers of DACA are safe, for now. While the justices could still decide to hear the case, many states – including California, Maine, Maryland, and Minnesota – are filing lawsuits against the administration’s choice to end DACA.
Have Questions or Concerns? Contact an Experienced Immigration Attorney
With immigration policies and regulations seemingly changing left, right, and overnight, it’s important to have a clear understanding of your legal rights. Whether you’re a DACA candidate, a refugee, or a hopeful migrant, you can rely on the Cleveland immigration attorneys at Sintsirmas & Mueller Co. L.P.A. Our experienced legal team has over 50 years of collective legal experience and a comprehensive understanding of fluctuating federal immigration laws. Our sole priority as a law firm is to help our clients achieve their individual American Dreams.