In spite of the rulings by three federal judges who issued orders for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to exist peacefully and not take new applicants, there is little respite for immigrants.
DACA protects around 690,000 undocumented young immigrants brought to the US illegally as children, also called the Dreamers, from deportation and give them work permits for two-year periods, after which they must re-apply.
Texas, along with Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina, and West Virginia have filed a lawsuit against the Trump Administration to effectively end the DACA program created during the Obama-era, on grounds of the Obama administration exceeding authority by acting without taking congressional action. Apparently, the lawsuit is on the rule of law and seeks to end DACA in order to prevent the issuance of new permits and not cancel current permits.
The Supreme Court has refused to intervene and review the policy so far.
The lawsuit in itself is nothing more than an attempt of the seven Republicans states, to nudge the DACA policy towards the Supreme Court. According to Stephen Yale-Loehr, a Cornell University law professor, if the ruling is in favor of Texas and other states, then the Justice Department (headed by DACA opposing Attorney General Jeff Sessions) can urge the Supreme Court to review the matter now, rather than in due course, as the other judges’ decisions make their way through appellate courts.
While both Republicans and Democrats have failed to come to a consensus on a policy agreeable to both sides, four Immigration Bills have failed before the Senate, less than 2 months ago. The President, Donald Trump and the US Attorney General Jeff Sessions – have both publicly opposed DACA time and again. In fact, prior to being Attorney General, Sessions was the senator from Alabama, a party in the present lawsuit, for 20 years!
In the present lawsuit, the party being sued, i.e., the Trump Administration, has been consistently in favor of scrapping DACA! All the administration has to do in the lawsuit, is sit back and let the other side plead their own case! Then irrespective of the outcome of the lawsuit, the President can appear compassionate when DACA is found unlawful and blame the courts.
For the dreamers, from the Hispanic and South Asian communities, it means that the breather they got from the previous court rulings has now drastically changed. A small ray of hope lies in the fact that there could be unpredictability in the High Court and its decision, which may favor the dreamers instead. But with the President, his administration and the majority of the Senate opposing DACA, it seems like a long shot!
Snigdha is a 'closet' writer with unapologetic opinions on life and people around her. She supports the cause of protecting endangered civil rights like free speech, equity, equality, and most importantly common sense.