Federal Judge Orders DACA Protections Continued
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) lets undocumented immigrants entering America as minors receive renewable deferred action from deportation, along with work permit eligibility.
So-called “Dreamers” are estimated to number around 1.7 million, undocumented immigrants entering America before age-16 prior to June 2007.
As of early 2017, about 800,000 Dreamers were enrolled in the program DACA created. Eligibility requires they be in school, have graduated from high school, or received an honorable discharge from the military.
Anyone convicted of a felony or serious misdemeanor is ineligible. So are individuals considered a threat to national security.
DACA excludes a path to citizenship and eligibility for federal welfare or student aid.
The policy established in June 2012 was rescinded by Trump in September last year.
On Tuesday, federal District Judge William Alsup overrode Trump’s move while lawsuits remain ongoing, saying:
Lawyers arguing for DACA’s continuation clearly demonstrated affected individuals “were likely to suffer serious, irreparable harm” without court action – stressing they have a good case to make their argument stick, adding:
“DACA covers a class of immigrants whose presence, seemingly all agree, pose the least, if any, threat and allows them to sign up for honest labor on the condition of continued good behavior.”
“This has become an important program for DACA recipients and their families, for the employers who hire them, for our tax treasuries, and for our economy.”
Justice Department spokesman Devin O’Malley issued a statement, saying the DOJ “will continue to vigorously defend (the administration’s) position, and looks forward to vindicating (it) in further litigation.”
Trump’s decision to phase out DACA sparked numerous lawsuits by states and organizations, including the ACLU.
Last October, it filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of DACA enrollees and the Inland Empire – Immigrant Youth Collective.
It seeks to hold the Trump administration to its initial promise to continue the program, assuring it protects enrollees from deportation.
A lead ACLU plaintiff Jesus Alonso Arreola Robles showed what’s at stake.
Wrongfully arrested last February on phony charges of smuggling immigrants into the country, he spent weeks in harsh detention, an immigration judge finally affirming his innocence, ordering him released on bond.
His nightmare didn’t end. Days later, his DACA status was terminated – without explanation. He’ll likely be deported to his native Mexico.
His treatment was unlawful. Under DACA, federal authorities must give prior notice before terminating the status of young immigrants – giving them time to contest.
Revoking DACA status without due process is a flagrant violation of the law – in Robles’ case, based on unproved suspicions of criminal or misdemeanor behavior.
Dream Act protection is essential, especially given a president who promises one thing, then irresponsibly reneges – grievously harming the lives and welfare of hundreds of thousands of Dreamers.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."