Washington — The US Supreme Court on Thursday morning, 19th June, denied Trump from terminating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
In the case of the Department of Homeland v. Regents of Univ. of Cal (18–587), SC blocked the request citing it illegal. They stated that the methods chosen by DHS for the termination of the policy were arbitrary and capricious under the Administrative Procedure Act. Justice John G Robert-a conservative sided with the liberals giving a majority of 5–4 decision. The Dreamers-DACA applicants that rallied out the court finally breathe a sigh of relief, while Trump fails to keep up to his promise.
Following the verdict, #HomeIsHere started to trend on social media, filled with mixed reactions from people all over America. President Obama, who implemented this policy in 2012, also tweeted about the same.
Trump expressed his disappointment with the ruling by lashing out on Twitter, saying he believes the Supreme Court of the US does not seem to like him much. Following this tweet, a new trend started on twitter, when people began responding to his tweet with #NoOneLikesYou.
As most of America celebrates the supreme court verdict, some believe that the policy is taking away benefits from American citizens. To help you choose better, here are facts to some unanswered questions and rumors about DACA.
- What is DACA? Does it guarantee citizenship to undocumented immigrants?
Fact: In 2012, the then-President Barack Obama implemented the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy. The program helps people who were brought into the country, as children, undocumented, by their parents. It is a 2-year, renewable program that allows them to work legally in the country. However, this in no way guarantees citizenship to its recipients. It only protects them from being deported for the time being.
- Are DACA recipients stealing away jobs from US citizens?
Fact: According to various researches, including the one by Research for the Center for Immigration Studies, Steven Camarota, the director of the center, states that there is no real evidence that proves that DACA recipients have been stealing jobs from citizens. On the contrary, there is proof that the recipients seem to have helped boost the economy of the country.
- Is the policy causing the citizens to pay extra taxes so that Dreamers can get welfare and federal benefits?
Fact: Although many believe that citizens have to pay more taxes because of DACA recipients, it is not the case. Dreamers pay the same amount of tax as any other American Citizen. They are not eligible for welfare benefits. Even though DACA recipients do pay federal taxes, they are ineligible for most federal benefits such as social security, college financial aid, food stamps, etc. Only a few states allow them to get a driver’s license.
- Does the DACA policy protect undocumented immigrant criminals by allowing them to enroll in the program?
Fact: NO! One of the first and foremost requirements of DACA is that the applicant must possess a clean record to enroll for the plan. They have to have proof that they have not committed any serious crimes ever, to be a part of DACA. Hence, the claim that DACA protects or enrolls criminals is fallacious.
- Has the program affected the economy of the country?
Fact: While most people know this as a fact, some remain unaware that DACA members have helped boost the economy of the country. Dreamers are a vital part of America’s economy since almost 1.3 million of the US population are DACA eligibles. Out of these, 91% have already enrolled for the program. The majority of these applicants work for the healthcare industry, followed by the education and food industry. More than 72 % of Dreamers are employees to top companies like Apple, IBM, Amazon, etc. With this, their estimated contribution goes up to $1.7 billion a year, in state and local taxes.
- Does the latest verdict in the ruling down of termination DACA, guarantee safety for the Dreamers?
Fact: No. The disagreement on the ruling down of the policy is more like a quick fix and does not guarantee a long term solution for undocumented immigrants. One of the five majority judges, Justice Sotomayor, also addressed the decision to end the DACA was ‘contaminated by the impermissible discriminatory animus.’ Justice John Roberts, who voted against the end of DACA, stated that ‘the wisdom of whether DACA or its recession, is sound policy’, is none of their concern. He only discusses the fact that the department failed to consider the expected procedure and thus rejected the termination simply as it does not abide by the law. He also asked the DHS to come up with a new way to address this issue. It means that the court did not discard the termination but suggested the Homeland Security try again in a few months. Hence, Dreamers are at a higher risk now and require the support of Democrats and some Republicans to find a legislative fix before POTUS’s next action.
The reason Trump is so hell-bent on ending DACA is because of his 2017 Presidential campaign, where he promised his conservative voters that he plans to end DACA. It was one of the reasons for him winning the election. And now to win again, he wants to make sure he delivers all that he promised. Although the court did not pass the decision to end DACA, it can still do so in the coming months. In a tweet, the POTUS even threatened to do so by adding more conservative judges to the panel. But there seems to be very little chance of him doing so given the negative impact it can have on his upcoming election campaign since most of America supports DACA.
And so, the future of the 1.3 million Dreamers falls into the hands of the American citizens. These citizens have the power to vote Trump out this November. Or, if Trump wins the November elections, he may command deportation all of the DACA applicants.