by Lauren Hill ’21
Starting in early 2017 the Trump Administration began taking action to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. In the past month, the Supreme Court has been deliberating on whether or not the Trump administration may move forward to repeal the Obama era program. DACA protects undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as young children from deportation, as well as providing recipients with a work permit. Recipients, known as Dreamers must renew their DACA status every two years. On November 12 2019, the Supreme Court heard arguments for and against the termination of DACA. The Trump administration argued that the executive order made by Obama in 2012 exceeded presidential authority, and therefore maintaining the program would be unlawful.
The Trump Administration’s claims of DACA being unconstitutional have proven to be baseless. Immigration authorities have granted deferred action to immigrants for decades and DACA is no different. “Congress has given the executive branch discretion over the administration and enforcement of the immigration laws. And the Supreme Court has recognized that a principal feature of the removal system is the broad discretion exercised by immigration officials,” the American Civil Liberties Union said in an article defending DACA. The final decision about whether or not DACA exceeds presidential power is left to the Supreme Court, and will likely be made sometime in 2020. Although the Supreme Court has a conservative majority, it is unclear how they will rule in this case.
If the Supreme Court rules to allow the reversal of DACA there would be significant negative effects on hundreds of thousands of people in every state, including Maryland. Trump’s ideas concerning DACA seem to have racist and discriminatory undertones. Trump stated that “Many of the people in DACA, no longer very young, are far from angels, some are very tough, hardened criminals,” in a tweet on November 12 President Trump’s tweets echo a harsh and unwarranted generalization about dreamers. Dreamers come here at a young age to go to school and work. To most DACA recipients the U.S is the only home they have ever known. The end of DACA could mean deporting dreamers to countries that are completely unfamiliar to them. In the past, Trump has claimed that he has plans to pave the way for dreamers to gain citizenship. However, Trump has not offered a concrete plan on how he would carry out this long and complicated process. Currently, the Trump administration does not seem to care about the implications that ending DACA could have for hundreds of thousands of people. The administration is more focused on how to get rid of the program, rather than the inhumane outcome it would cause.