Big Question for Young Immigrants: Now What?

They won a reprieve at Supreme Court, but Trump signals he'll go after DACA again
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 19, 2020 12:46 PM CDT
Big Question for Young Immigrants: Now What?
A young immigrant peaks out of a van window during a caravan rally supporting the DACA program around MacArthur Park in Los Angeles on Thursday.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

The Supreme Court gave young, undocumented immigrants in the US reason to celebrate Thursday when it blocked President Trump's attempt to end protections for them. But one key point quickly emerged in coverage: The court decision was a narrow, procedural one, meaning this is more of a reprieve than a permanent victory. Much depends on what the White House and, possibly, Congress do next in regard to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. "This issue is not going away, and so this is not over yet," Roberto Gonzalez, director of the Immigration Initiative at Harvard, tells NPR. Coverage:

  • Trump: He suggested Friday the White House would move quickly to try again to dismantle DACA, reports the Hill. "We will be submitting enhanced papers shortly in order to properly [fulfill] the Supreme Court's ruling & request," he tweeted. He insisted that he cares more about the fate of DACA recipients, known as Dreamers, than Democrats, and blamed the Dems for failing to negotiate on a broader immigration deal.
  • Little time: It wasn't immediately clear what papers the White House would be filing, notes the Washington Post, and any such move would surely be met by legal challenges that would delay things until after the election. The AP agrees, saying it's unlikely anything could be done before November, including on the congressional front.

  • Tricky politics: Trump faces what Politico terms a "politically perilous" decision. Moving aggressively against DACA is dicey ahead of the election because most Americans—including moderate Republicans—favor keeping protections in place for DACA recipients, hundreds of thousands of young adults who grew up in the US. "Trump's decision will depend, like so many other immigration decisions, on how aggressively hard-liners, including activists and influential media personalities, push him on the issue," per the analysis.
  • A prediction: In a way, the court decision provides the president with political cover, notes the Los Angeles Times. He won't have the dismantling of a popular program on his shoulders before November, and he can lay the blame on the court. NPR thinks most Republican lawmakers are "relieved" as well. Elora Mukherjee, director of Columbia Law School's Immigrants' Rights Clinic, predicts the president won't take any real action against DACA in the coming months but will instead promise to do so after the election, per the Times.
  • From the right: The conservative editorial page of the Wall Street Journal and an analysis by David Harsanyi in the National Review make similar points: Both are in favor of the main goals of DACA—they don't want to see recipients forced out. But they also think President Obama abused executive power with the act and should have left this to Congress. Sure, DACA is popular, but that's irrelevant. "The question pollsters should be asking isn't whether the Supreme Court's rejection of Trump's attempt to end the DACA 'aligns' with Americans support for legal status of illegal immigrants, but rather if it aligns with the idea presidents can 'bypass Congress and change the laws,'" writes Harsanyi. "Well, some presidents."
  • The ruling: An explainer at Vox digs into the legal rationale of the court ruling. What it boils down to is that the administration didn't complete the "proper paperwork," writes Ian Millhiser. More specifically, the White House failed to provide the "proper legal justification" for ending DACA, per the Post.
(More DACA stories.)

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