NYC’s Electeds Laud U.S. Supreme Court’s DACA Decision

U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Supreme Court

Democratic local electeds all across NYC were singing the U.S. Supreme Court’s praises after the 5-4 ruling yesterday that the Trump administration may not end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

President Donald Trump credit: Gage Skidmore, Flickr

President Trump said in his 2017 Presidential campaign that he would disband the program created by former President Barack Obama in 2012, citing the program’s measures that allow young undocumented citizens- brought into the US as children- to apply for temporary status that shields them from deportation was beyond the legal power of any president.

This wasn’t adequate reasoning to convince governor Cuomo, however. 

“The Trump Administration failed to give an adequate reason for ending DACA because there isn’t one – it was just another purely partisan assault to advance this administration’s anti-immigrant agenda and pander to his political base,” he said.

Trump’s reasoning also didn’t sit very well for the four Supreme Court’s judges making up the liberal bloc plus Chief Justice John Roberts, an appointee of Republican President George W. Bush

Roberts noted that the current administration’s justifications to rescind DACA was insufficient and that it violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), which sets out rulemaking procedures for federal agencies.

“We do not decide whether DACA or its rescission are sound policies,” Roberts wrote. “We address only whether the agency complied with the procedural requirement that it provide a reasoned explanation for its action.”

Roberts added that the administration may try again to provide adequate reasons for shutting down the program although the process is likely to take a considerable amount of time and would have to wait till after the November election. 

The conservative bloc of Supreme Court judges- Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Neil M. Gorsuch – were not pleased with the decision. 

“Today’s decision must be recognized for what it is: an effort to avoid a politically controversial but legally correct decision,” Thomas wrote. “The court could have made clear that the solution respondents seek must come from the legislative branch.”

“It has given the green light,” he wrote of the court, “for future political battles to be fought in this court rather than where they rightfully belong — the political branches.”

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer

This didn’t deter Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer’s cheerfulness, however, who said he “cried tears of joy when thinking about the weight lifted off the shoulders of over 700,000 Dreamers.”

City Council Member Carlos Menchaca (D-Red Hook, Sunset Park), chair of the Immigration Committee, noted this to be a victory for the 800,000 Americans who can now breathe a sigh of relief but jumped on what to do next. 

“Congress must now act to create a permanent solution for Dreamers and our 11 million undocumented neighbors. We must abolish ICE. That starts by removing this failed President from office in November,” he commented. 

Assistant Assembly Speaker Felix W. Ortiz (D-Sunset Park, Red Hook), who has vocalized disapproval for ICE, added that, “Today’s decision is welcome news and will let thousands of young people remain in this country and continue their education and careers without the threat of deportation.”

The ruling would put a hold on plans to gather more than 700,000 young immigrants and deport them to foreign countries. Although DACA doesn’t provide a pathway to citizenship, it allows undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States to remain in the country if they are under 16 years old, have lived here since June 2007 and were enrolled in high school (or who graduated) and had not been convicted of a crime.

Both Queens Borough President Sharon Lee and U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Kensington, Midwood, Prospect Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Park Slope) rejected the idea that these individuals weren’t American citizens to begin with. 

“Queens stands with Dreamers. The tens of thousands of DACA-eligible individuals in our county grew up no less American than anyone else who calls Queens home,” Lee said. 

“I applaud the Supreme Court’s decision to block the Trump Administration’s attempt to end DACA. Dreamers, many of whom have lived in America since they were small children, are American in every sense of the word,” Clarke added.