The U.S. Supreme Court has voted 5-4 to uphold the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy that had been implemented by the Obama Administration.
The decision, announced on June 18, is a victory for "Dreamers," young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children and who have lived and gone to school here.
The ruling was applauded by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who last year led a coalition of 21 attorneys general in defense of DACA before the Supreme Court.
The decision, written by Chief Justice John Roberts and joined by the four liberal justices, held that the Trump Administration acted illegally when it attempted to end DACA. As a result, the policy remains in effect for now, protecting hundreds of thousands of Dreamers across the country, including some in Fontana, from the threat of deportation.
“Today, justice prevailed for every Dreamer who has worked hard to help build our country -- our neighbors, teachers, doctors, and first responders. Today, America told the Dreamers that this is their home,” said Becerra. “The highest court in our land saw through the Trump Administration’s illegal, baseless excuses. The Court agreed: If you work hard and play by the rules, you deserve a chance to get ahead. However, our fight doesn’t end here: Congress can permanently fix our broken immigration system and secure a pathway to citizenship. As a former lawmaker who launched bipartisan immigration talks on Capitol Hill, I know first-hand that bipartisan support can -- and must -- exist. It will take all of us working together to get it done.”
Trump said on Twitter: "These horrible and politically charged decisions coming out of the Supreme Court are shotgun blasts into the face of people that are proud to call themselves Republicans or Conservatives."
But Obama said on Twitter: "Eight years ago this week, we protected young people who were raised as part of our American family from deportation. Today, I'm happy for them, their families, and all of us."
“Justice and the rule of law won the day,” said University of California President Janet Napolitano, who helped create DACA when she served as secretary of Homeland Security under Obama. “The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the University of California and the California Attorney General’s challenge against the Trump Administration’s capricious action is a victory for hundreds of thousands of young people who are making vital contributions to their families, schools, employers, and the nation.”
Currently, there are nearly 650,000 Dreamers who arrived in this country as children and were granted DACA protections, Becerra said. Dreamers come from almost every country in the world, but many have never known any home other than the United States.
Becerra said these Dreamers are among the nation’s newest college graduates, soldiers, nurses, teachers, and first responders who are boosting the country’s economy and communities every day.
He said there are about 29,000 doctors, nurses, dentists, physician assistants, and other healthcare workers who have benefitted from DACA.
In California alone, it is estimated that there are more than 8,500 DACA recipients who work in the healthcare industry. DACA recipients and their households are estimated to contribute nearly $9 billion in federal, state, and local taxes each year. Currently, more than a quarter of DACA recipients reside in California.
Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-35th District), who represents part of Fontana and other cities, said the Supreme Court's decision is a "welcome relief to the thousands of Dreamers throughout the country whose futures were thrown into jeopardy by the Trump Administration’s cruel and arbitrary decision to end DACA. But we cannot allow this temporary victory to make us complacent. Today’s decision makes clear that Congress must press forward to establish a permanent path to citizenship for immigrant youth immediately to prevent the Trump Administration from continuing to target the immigrant community with its radical anti-immigrant agenda."