The Supreme Court began hearing arguments to determine whether the Trump administration can end the program known as DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), which provides protection from deportation for about 700,000 people, often called Dreamers. The Trump administration tried to end DACA in 2017 but their decision was blocked by a federal judge and eventually appealed to the Supreme Court, which will announce its decision by June 2020.
The Trump administration’s attempt to end DACA is just part of its increased attacks on immigrants, which include travel bans from predominately Muslim countries, bans on refugees seeking asylum, separation and detention of immigrant families and children, and more. Trump has built his reelection on his racist and anti-immigrant rhetoric – hate-filled messages that have encouraged white supremacists to attack immigrants and even carry out mass shootings.
DACA is a program implemented by President Obama in 2012, providing temporary protection from deportation to immigrants who arrived as children. It allowed these undocumented immigrants to come out of the shadows, to get drivers’ licenses and government issued identification, to work and go to school and build a life here without the fear of deportation. Over 90 percent of DACA recipients are employed and 45 percent are enrolled in school. The average DACA holder is now 25 years old, and the oldest is 37. The majority came from Mexico, and many were born in Central and South America, Asia and the Caribbean.
The DACA program has certainly been an improvement from the constant threat of deportation that loomed before it was implemented. But there should have been no need for this program. By not granting full citizenship, the Obama administration just paved the way for the next administration to cancel the program, exactly as is happening now under Trump.
This Supreme Court case must be seen for the complete sham that it is. There should be nothing for the Supreme Court to even consider. The 700,000 people under DACA have every right to be here. They came here as children with their parents, many fleeing their homes for survival. And now they have lived here for more than a decade. They do not have homes to go back to, and many of them would a face great risk if they were forced to return. Many don’t even speak the language of the countries they were born in. Deporting DACA holders makes as much sense as deporting American citizens to the birth countries of their immigrant ancestors. This is their home, and they have every right to stay.
The Supreme Court may rule to end DACA but we don’t have to accept this outrageous attack. This system doesn’t recognize borders when it needs people to work in its factories, fields, or kitchens. It ignores borders when it wages wars of destruction. And it certainly doesn’t recognize borders when corporations scatter across the globe in search of their profits, increasingly destroying the planet in the process. And we too have no reason to respect their borders that divide us.
Those of us who have citizenship have the same interests as those who are forced to flee from their homelands. Across the world, our futures are linked together regardless of where we were born. We occupy the same planet that is being destroyed by the same system of profit seeking. We have every reason to stand together and fight for our own future.
featured image: Students and supporters of DACA recipients rally in Los Angeles on the day the Supreme Court heard arguments in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) case Nov. 12, 2019.Mario Tama / Getty Images