A federal judge gave Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients and their allies a victory yesterday, ruling that administration resume accepting renewal applications and calling Donald Trump’s decision to end the program this past September "arbitrary" and "capricious." But while this is an important win, it’s only a partial one.
The administration is already promising a legal fight that only means more uncertainty for DACA recipients, and they’ve already lived too damn long in limbo. Remember, every day that Congress doesn’t act, 122 more fall out of status. Enough is enough—we need the DREAM Act now. “Let me be very clear,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer this morning, “the ruling last night in no way diminishes the urgency of solving the DACA issue”:
A court case is no guarantee of lasting security; a higher court can quickly overturn it. Unsurprisingly, the Department of Justice responded to the ruling last night by saying that it “will continue to vigorously defend [their] position, and looks forward to vindicating its position in further litigation.”
The fact remains -- the only way to guarantee legal status for the Dreamers is to pass DACA protections into law and do it now. For that reason, a resolution to the DACA issue must be part of a global deal on the budget.
We cannot wait. We cannot tolerate a delay. Delay is a tactic employed by those who do not wish to see a deal. Let me just say, promises that “maybe in the future we’ll do it,” particularly on immigration have vanished by the wayside. Unless DACA is on a must-pass deal, a must-pass bill, in terms of a global agreement, people are rightfully skeptical that it will ever happen. Somehow, somewhere, someone will say ‘I can’t do it.’
The facts are clear: Trump broke DACA, and now it’s up to the GOP-led Congress to fix it. We’ve already seen how easily the federal government revoke DACA protections from young people for the most arbitrary of reasons. “However, this relief, while important, is not a lasting solution,” said Senator Kamala Harris, who has promised to withhold her vote for a spending package that doesn’t include the DREAM Act. “Congress must act immediately to provide these young people with permanent protection from deportation, which can only come through legislation. Dreamers do not deserve a life where they live in constant fear of a new court decision that could rip them away from their families and the only country they’ve called home.”
This court decision should not be allowed to affect any of the important progress that has been made by legislators in recent days. Keep calling your members of Congress, keep telling them to stop leaving Dreamers in limbo, and demand they include the DREAM Act in the spending bill this month.