US Supreme Court hears arguments on DACA

World Today

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday on a key Trump policy.

It will decide whether the president can end a program that stopped the deportations of thousands, brought to the United States illegally as children.

CGTN’s Toby Muse reports.

Passions are running high on this emotional issue that could define the future for around 700,000 people. Hundreds of the program’s recipients demonstrated in front of the Supreme Court here in Washington to show their support for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA.

“I want citizenship, or at least that they leave DACA alone for us because DACA has opened a lot of doors for me. It allowed me to go to school, to get a driver’s license, to work. I know a lot of people can’t have that. So I would like citizenship, but at least DACA,” said Rebecca a DACA activist.

DACA was established through an executive order by former President Barack Obama and allowed the so-called dreamers to work, pay taxes and integrate into the legal economy of the only country they’ve ever known as long as they didn’t have a criminal record.

In 2017, Trump announced the end of DACA, his administration claiming that Obama didn’t have the power to create such a program without an act of Congress.

At the time, Trump made clear it was a negotiating move to reach an overarching immigration deal with his Democrat opponents. No agreement was reached and the DACA recipients were left in limbo.

A deciding swing vote in a Supreme Court otherwise divided between conservatives and liberals may rest with conservative Chief Justice John Roberts who has ruled for and against the government’s immigration policies in the past. A decision isn’t expected until May or June of next year.

That can’t come quick enough for those whose futures are at stake.

“The only place I have ever known as home is Omaha, Nebraska. We’ve traveled far but we know that it is necessary to be here and to show up and let people know that we’re here to stay,” said Fatima Flores-Lagunas a DACA recipient.

The so-called Dreamers occupy a unique position in the immigration debate. Many Republicans join with Democrats in saying that they should be able to stay in the United States. And polls show nearly ninety percent of Americans support allowing dreamers to remain. The question is under what conditions.

Trump tweeted out a pledge Tuesday saying that even if the Supreme Court rules in his administration’s favor, “a deal will be made with democrats for them to stay.”