The Trump administration is making one final bid to eliminate the Obama era legislation that has protected immigrants who had arrived as children from deportation.
Since Trump has taken office nearly three years ago one thing has been consistent; his quest to erase every piece of pro-immigrant policy from the Obama era. One of the main targets of his administration’s efforts has been the Deferment of Childhood-Early Arrivals (DACA) which protects immigrants who were brought to the United States as children, allowing them to obtain work permits and remain in the United States. Under Obama’s administration, DACA recipients were protected from deportation, yet could not become citizens, the current administration has been attempting to strip the few protections childhood arrivals have and deport them from the United States.
With the decision of the Supreme Court to rule on the legal status of the children who have received protection from DACA, their seven-year state of limbo will finally be resolved. For three years, the Trump administration has waged war on childhood arrivals, submitting multiple requests to the Supreme Court to review the validity of DACA. Trump is finally getting his wish, the deliberations of the justices will either bring the end of the Obama era program or cause a civil war between our highest order of legal justice and the President of the United States
Many Attempts to Gut DACA
In September 2017, Trump attempted to repeal the DACA protection for immigrant children who had come to the United States under the age of fifteen, only to have it blocked by a US District Court. The first of many attempts to remove the Obama era executive order marked the beginning of years of uncertainty for young adults who had come to the United Sates as children, and were now facing possible deportation from a president who sought to remove any positive trace of his predecessor from the country.
On April 24th, after the administration unsuccessfully tried to decrease the amount of DACA applications being accepted, a US District Court gave the administration ninety days to find a valid reason for canceling the program. Unsurprisingly, they were unable to find a suitable explanation for terminating a program that gave an opportunity for immigrant children, ordered to reinstate it on August 3rd. 2017. In January of 2016, Trump used DACA as a bargaining chip in order to gain funds for his border wall, until the shutdown ended with the Republican Congress members agreeing to find a solution to solve the issues facing Dreamers. That same month, the administration made their first appeal to the Supreme Court, in an effort to challenge the ability of DACA recipients to extend their work permits.
A War on DACA
Since his inauguration, Trump’s administration has carried out a vendetta against Obama era policies surrounding immigration, his vow to end DACA was a cornerstone of his campaign trail promises. Much like how former presidencies have been marked by political campaigns against terrorism or reformations of domestic policy, the Trump administration’s signature notes of the early months and even now was the dismantling of the Obama era protection of immigrant children allowing them to study and work in the United States.
The end of DACA would effectively deny a generation of dreamers the chance to study and work in a country free from the terror and poverty that their parents had sought to protect them from in the first place. Over the past three years, one thing has remained a constant, Trump using the DACA recipients and their right to remain in the United States, in order to get what he wants out of Congress. His vendetta against Obama’s work is manifesting in his constant attacks on the children and young adults who were brought to the United States by their parents, who only wanted a better life for their children. Only in Trump’s America, is it now a crime to seek the American Dream – life, liberty, and, the pursuit of happiness.
Impact of the Supreme Court Decision
The Trump administration sees DACA as illegal due to the protection being a result of an Executive Order, making it that much more vulnerable under the onslaught of appeals and motions made against it throughout Trump’s time in the White House. Due to coming to the United States illegally as children, these young adults are ineligible to apply for citizenship. The fate of over seven thousand young adults currently residing, studying, and working in the US rests in the hands of our nation’s highest court. If the justices rule that, Trump’s prior rescindment of DACA was legal, then countless illegal immigrants who came here as children will be deported to a land that is unknown to them, and forced from the place that they consider their true home.