In the ongoing battle between President Trump and immigration activists, both sides seem to go two steps forward and one step back. With a recent case trying to stop the repeal of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program slowing things down, there has been some hope for DREAMERs, those undocumented youth who benefit from the program.
But the Trump administration has tried to push through a case to speed up their plans to kill DACA. And with a deadline of March 5 to end the program completely, many feared the worst.
On Monday, the Supreme Court informed the Department of Justice that they would not speed up their investigation on how to handle the hundreds of thousands of DREAMERs awaiting their fate in the wake of the end of the DACA program. The request was made in an attempt to skip past usual appeals court processes and review a district court judge’s ruling requiring the administration to resume renewals of the program.
Judge Nicholas Garafuis filed his motion in district court in early February, claiming the repeal violates the Administrative Procedure Act and therefore cannot be upheld. The Department of Justice did not want an investigation on whether this motion was valid, and asked the Supreme Court to simply strike it down and continue on with ending the program.
And although today’s ruling is not great for the administration’s repeal attempts, it’s also not great for DREAMERs or people who were trying to get into the program before the March 5 deadline.
While current DACA recipients are able to renew their status for another two years (as they have done in the past), today’s ruling doesn’t help undocumented folks who couldn’t get in under the wire. Anyone who has yet to turn 15 years old, those unable to satisfy the financial requirement of $500, or those who simply ran out of time in their attempts to apply for the program will now be shut out, possibly forever.
So, while many can safely stay in the US for now, many more may not have the same protections. With the administration handing broader rights to ICE agents to detain and deport undocumented people, thousands of families may be split apart due to this ruling. But Congress still has time to act, too, so only time will tell what outcomes we may see in coming days and months.
(photo via Erik McGregor/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)