Thursday morning, in a 5 to 4 opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the Trump administration’s efforts to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Justices ruled 2012 initiative was inappropriately terminated by the Trump administration.
In 2017, the Trump Administration ordered an end to the program, known as the ‘Dream Act.’ The Obama-era program protects those who were brought to the U.S. as children from deportation.
The order to end DACA faced numerous legal challenges that allowed DACA recipients to renew their status until the Supreme Court issued their final ruling.
Below is reaction from local leaders and groups, and will be updated throughout the day.
Most Rev. Mark J. Seitz D.D., Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of El Paso
The Supreme Court’s decision today is blessed relief and a moment of celebration for our Dreamer brothers and sisters. It is a testament to years of hard work and organizing by Dreamers themselves.
While it is not a final solution, at a time of national crisis, today’s news should give us all hope that when we bring our aspirations and dreams to the public square, a more just society is possible.
The current pandemic and the outcry over racism and police brutality are smashing our idols and stripping our country bare before the Lord. We see that only fraternal love will get us through this crisis.
Love is mercy. Love is compassion and solidarity. Let us continue to work for justice and storm the halls of heaven with prayer, until the dreams of all of our sisters and brothers, documented and undocumented, are set free from cages of fear and indifference, and all of us can take our rightful place at the table of fraternal love.
Statement from UTEP President Heather Wilson Regarding the Supreme Court’s Decision to Uphold DACA
“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court is welcome news. DACA students were brought to America as children, through no decision of their own. Allowing them to remain in America, the only home they have ever known, and go to school and work to achieve the American dream is the right thing to do for them and for America. UTEP will continue to support DACA students as they make progress toward accomplishing their educational and career goals.”
Congresswoman Veronica Escobar Statement on Supreme Court Decision Protecting DACA
Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (TX-16) issued the following statement in response to the Supreme Court decision against President Donald Trump’s unlawful attempt to end the DACA program:
“Today’s Supreme Court decision is a victory for hundreds of thousands of immigrant youth and for the future of the American Dream. For years, Dreamers – who are as American as all of us – have been fighting to become Americans on paper and for an opportunity to continue contributing to the rich and beautiful fabric of our nation. This decision honors their fight by affirming that President Trump’s hateful attempt to end DACA was arbitrary and capricious.
“For Dreamers, home is here, and we must fulfill our promise to provide them with permanent protections and bring relief and certainty to their lives once and for all, which is why it is crucial that the Republican-controlled Senate pass the American Dream and Promise Act to advance justice and uphold the American values that El Paso deeply cherishes.”
Sen. Rodríguez’s Statement on SCOTUS Ruling upholding DACA
State Senator José Rodríguez released the following statement regarding the Supreme Court’s ruling upholding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program:
Today’s Supreme Court decision on the DACA program is a major victory for more than 800,000 young immigrants who grew up in the United States; America is the only home these DREAMers know. They contribute to the growth of our nation in innumerable ways. To end the program and send DREAMers to unfamiliar countries, tearing apart families, would be cruel and inhumane.
This victory must be made permanent, and we must continue fighting for comprehensive immigration reform. Our system has been diminished greatly by this administration, which foments fear and division and targets immigrants for political gain. We must work harder than ever to make America once again a nation that welcomes immigrants on our doorstep, treating them with the dignity and respect all people deserve.
Representative Art Fierro’s Statement on SCOTUS DACA Decision
Borderplex Alliance CEO Jon Barela issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Hope Border Institute issues statement on Supreme Court’s Action to Protect Dreamers
Dylan Corbett, Executive Director, Hope Border Institute:
The Supreme Court ruled today that the Trump administration’s cruel attempt to end protections for Dreamers was arbitrary and capricious. These qualities have characterized the administration’s immigration and border policies from the beginning.
Today’s victory belongs to the countless Dreamers who refused to be silenced and forced into the shadows. At a time when our politics seems broken and hijacked, they give us hope that an engaged public that brings its pain and hopes to the streets and to the halls of power can still make change.
Today’s decision is not a final resolution but it is an important reprieve for young people and families with deep roots in our communities, many of whom are on the front lines in this time of national crisis. We still need Congress to act. Pass the Dream Act, cut funding to ICE and CBP, tear down walls, set free the detained and restore asylum. The fate of our families and friends is not a question of politics but the work of justice. And this is holy work, moral work. And we will not stop.
Diocesan Migrant and Refugee Services statement on DACA
The United States Supreme Court rejected a bid Thursday to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The ruling protects more than 649,000 people known as “Dreamers” from deportation while allowing also them to continue working legally in the United States.
In the 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court ruled the federal government failed to give an adequate justification for ending the federal program and did not follow procedures outlined by the Administrative Procedure Act.
While this decision does not provide a path to citizenship, it will allow more than 200,000 DACA recipients to continue working on the front lines of COVID-19 response.
“It is a great day for DACA status holders. While this is not a definitive protection of the DACA program, the program lives, and we continue the fight to ensure permanent protection for all DREAMers, and we will joyfully continue to help DACA status holders renew their status,” said Melissa M. Lopez, DMRS Executive Director and Attorney at Law.
This decision also allow more than 1,500 El Pasoans, and others in Southern New Mexico to continue to contribute to their community and local economy. DACA recipients and their households make up part of the billions in federal, state and local taxes each year.
Diocesan Migrant & Refugee Services, Inc. (DMRS) is the largest provider of free and low cost immigration legal services in West Texas and New Mexico. We provide a comprehensive range of immigration legal services including representation in family-based immigration matters, Citizenship/Naturalization matters, matters related to benefits for survivors of domestic violence and other crimes, removal proceedings before the Immigration Courts, and services for adults and unaccompanied immigrant children detained in the local immigration detention centers and shelters. DMRS has been serving the immigrant community since 1986.
U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) discussed the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policies.
Excerpts of Sen. Cornyn’s floor remarks are below, and video can be found here.
“In spite of the fact he, numerous times, said he did not have the authority to do so, he proceeded to issue a memorandum that gave rise to the DACA program. So rather than rolling up our sleeves and working together to create lasting immigration policy, President Obama chose to do this through an executive memorandum.”
“These young people deserve better.”
“DACA recipients must have a permanent legislative solution. They deserve nothing less. These young men and women have done nothing wrong.”
“They’ve defended our freedoms in the United States military. Many of these young people are in their 30s now with careers, families, plans, hopes, and dreams of their own. So the uncertainty about their status and what will happen to them is no less terrifying for them than it would be for any of us.”
“I believe the Supreme Court has thrust upon us a unique moment and an opportunity. We need to take action and pass legislation that will unequivocally allow these young men and women to stay in the only home, in the only country, they’ve known.”
“They deserve to know that when they apply to college, grow up their families, live their lives, and do all the things everybody else wants to do, that they can do so without a dark cloud hanging over their plans.”
“In order to come up with a solution, it’s going to take buy-in from the Senate, the House, and the White House.”
“Most recently, I’ve been having conversations about the most efficient and effective way to protect these young people in the long-term, and I’m willing to work with anyone, Republican or Democrat, who’s interested in solving the problem.”
“I’ve engaged with the Texas Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, LULAC, Catholic Bishops and a number of other individuals and organizations that share my commitment to providing certainty for these young people. I hope we can come together and help them. These folks want nothing more than to continue to be part of the American dream.”
Hurd Responds to DACA Court Ruling, Calls for Permanent Legislative Fix
Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) released the following statement after the Supreme Court ruled that the Trump Administration failed to provide enough information to terminate DACA.
“DACA recipients came to the US through no fault of their own and are now building businesses, paying taxes or going to school. The Supreme Court made the right decision to allow them to continue to do this.
“Today’s court decision further reinforces the fact Congress must enact a permanent legislative solution for DACA recipients so they can continue to be a part of communities they have always called home — Speaker Pelosi and Leader McConnell it is beyond time for bipartisan and bicameral action on DACA.”
Cindy Ramos-Davidson, CEO of the El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce comments regarding the Supreme Court’s DACA decision
For several years now, the El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has advocated and worked to ensure the continuation and protection of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program and its participants. Today’s Supreme Court decision marks a significant win for proponents of the program, businesses, DACA recipients, and families across the country.
While we are encouraged by the decision of the Supreme Court to block the shutdown of the DACA program, we recognize that there is still much work to be done regarding this issue. The decision made by the Supreme Court still leaves the program, the hundreds of thousands of its participants, and the businesses that employ these individuals at risk.
DACA recipients are a critical part of our state and nation’s economy. In Texas alone, today’s Supreme Court decision protected 130,000 Texans that are a part of this program. Millions of businesses across the country rely on Dreamers as a source of qualified, trained, and stable workforce participants. DACA recipients over the age of 25 have an employment rate of 93%. DACA eligible workers contribute $1.4 billion in federal taxes, $2 billion in Social Security taxes, and $470 million in Medicare each year in addition to over $2 billion per year in state and local taxes.
Our communities rely on these Dreamers to contribute to our economic growth and expansion. The elimination of this essential program would not only tear families apart, it would cost us over $460 billion in economic growth over the next 10 years in addition to immediately stunting economic growth and cutting $280 billion from our economy.
Our country, our state, and our community could not grow, could not compete without these individuals. If we truly want to be competitive on a global scale, if we truly want to ensure the recovery, growth, and success of our economy, we must pass comprehensive immigration reform that treats immigrants seeking to come to our country, and those Dreamers who already call our country home, as the assets they are, rather than vilifying them.
We urge Congress to take action and pass legislation that will permanently protect DACA recipients and other Dreamers and provides for a pathway to legal status for these members of our community. Protecting these individuals, thereby protecting our economic growth and stability, should be a priority for Congress.
We must focus on immigration reform that exemplifies and upholds our values as a nation that was built by immigrants. Leaving the program and its participants vulnerable stands in direct opposition to those ideals.
As an organization representing 1,300 members and our small, minority, women, and veteran owned businesses, we support and will continue to support immigration reform and legislation that embraces diversity and enhances our businesses and our communities.