Judge Suspends DACA Program But Allows Dreamers To Stay In US

(stock image via Depositphotos)

From HuffPost:

A federal judge in Texas ruled Friday that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program ― a policy that lets undocumented immigrants who were brought into the U.S. as minors stay in the country ― is illegal and must be suspended.

In his ruling, Judge Andrew Hanen ordered President Joe Biden’s administration to stop approving new DACA requests from such immigrants, referred to as “Dreamers,” once again upending the Obama-era policy Biden had just revived in January.

The decision by Hanen, an appointee of former President George W. Bush known for his harsh rulings on immigration matters, does not have any bearing on current DACA recipients, nor does it affect their ability to renew their DACA grants.

Hanen made a point of saying the presence of DACA recipients “contributes to a more competitive labor market, which makes it more difficult for legal residents of Texas to obtain work.”

But in 2017, NPR fact-checked that idea and said it’s not true. Not only do DACA recipients tend to be well-educated, making the economy that much more productive, they also contribute to the U.S. as consumers.

It’s important to remember that DACA recipients are young people who were brought to the U.S. as small children. They didn’t make a choice to break any laws. And the idea of deporting a 14-year-old to, say, Mexico, when they might have been brought here as a baby is ridiculous.

Also – a Pew survey conducted last year showed almost three-quarters of respondents, including majorities of Democrats and Republicans, support finding a pathway to permanent legal status for Dreamers.

Read more at HuffPost.

Supreme Court Blocks Trump Administration’s Plan To End DACA

The Supreme Court has refused to block the release of hundreds of documents from the Trump White Houses ought by the House committee investigating the violent invasion of the U.S. Capitol building on January 6.

In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the Trump administration cannot move forward with plans to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which has enabled an estimated 800,000 young people, known as ‘Dreamers,’ to remain in the United States.

The decision represents a huge rebuke of Donald Trump’s immigration policy, which has been central to his presidency since he announced his run for office in 2015.

According to the majority opinion, the administration failed to give an adequate justification for ending the federal program.

From the New York Times:

The court’s ruling was a blow to one of President Trump’s central campaign promises — that as president he would “immediately terminate” an executive order by former President Barack Obama that Mr. Trump had called an illegal executive amnesty for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote the majority opinion, joined by the court’s four more liberal members in upholding the program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.

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

As the ruling notes, the decision didn’t rule on the legality of ending DACA, just that the Trump administration hadn’t followed proper procedures. Several pundits have shared the ruling could be used as a ‘road map’ for Trump to re-submit his executive order with more success.

Trump has since announced he plans to do exactly that.

This is the second ruling this week from the high court that decided against the Trump administration.

On Monday, SCOTUS ruled that LGBTQ people are protected in the workplace by existing federal civil rights laws. It’s notable that Chief Justice Roberts voted in the majority in that decision as well.

The Trumpster was, of course, not happy.

Trump Plans To Offer DACA Protections In Exchange For His Wall

Axios' Jonathan Swan is reporting Donald Trump plans to offer passage of the BRIDGE Act for DACA recipients to Democrats today in exchange for the $5.7 billion he wants for his beloved wall.
Donald Trump

Axios‘ Jonathan Swan is reporting Donald Trump plans to offer passage of the BRIDGE Act for DACA recipients to Democrats today in exchange for the $5.7 billion he wants for his beloved wall.

President Trump plans to use remarks from the Diplomatic Reception Room on Saturday afternoon to propose a notable immigration compromise, according to sources familiar with the speech.

Details: The offer is expected to include Trump’s $5.7 billion demand for wall money in exchange for the BRIDGE Act — which would extend protections for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) — and also legislation to extend the legal status of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders, according to a source with direct knowledge.

For their part, Dems are reportedly preparing to pass a package of six spending bills next week which will include an extra $1 billion for additional border security measures.

Donald Trump Celebrates Easter With Immigration Rant

Donald Trump

Donald Trump celebrated Easter by taking to Twitter and ranting about immigration saying “Border Patrol Agents are not allowed to properly do their job at the Border because of ridiculous liberal (Democrat) laws like Catch & Release. Getting more dangerous. “Caravans” coming. Republicans must go to Nuclear Option to pass tough laws NOW. NO MORE DACA DEAL!”

Did you catch that last part – “NO MORE DACA DEAL!”

Just last week Trump was telling Dreamers it was the Democrats who weren’t trying to solve the DACA issue. Now he’s saying, “NO MORE DACA DEAL!”

He also berated Mexico for “doing very little, at stopping folks at the border.

Interestingly, Trump doesn’t seem to understand exactly what DACA is.

He added that “These big flows of people are all trying to take advantage of DACA. They want in on the act!”

The DACA program (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) is only for recipients who have entered the United States before their 16th birthday and prior to June 2007.

There’s no getting “in on the act.” Either you were in the U.S. before 2007 or you’re not eligible.

Happy Easter!

SCOTUS Refuses To Hear DACA Appeal By Trump Administration

The U.S. Supreme Court dealt Donald Trump a serious setback today by declining to take up the administration’s appeal of a federal judge’s ruling that requires the government to keep the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program going.

From NBC News:

Under a lower court order that remains in effect, the Department of Homeland Security must continue to accept renewal applications from the roughly 700,000 young people who are currently enrolled in the program, known as DACA. The administration had intended to shut the program down by March 5, but that deadline is now largely meaningless.

In a brief order, the court said simply, “It is assumed the court of appeals will act expeditiously to decide this case.”

Monday’s denial also gives Congress more time to come up with a legislative solution, though repeated bipartisan efforts have failed so far.

At a White House meeting with governors from around the coutry, President Donald Trump said after the court’s decision, “We’d like to help DACA” and criticized the lower court.

The Supreme Court’s denial Monday was expected, because the justices rarely accept appeals asking them to bypass the lower courts.

The DACA program allows children of illegal immigrants, known as “Dreamers,” to remain in the U.S. if they were under 16 when their parents brought them to the U.S. and if they arrived by 2007.

DACA status is given to those who pass a background check, have no prior illegal history and have stayed in school or have current employment. Each “dreamer” must renew their status every two years.

As Pete Williams of NBC News explains below this doesn’t mean the case can’t make it to SCOTUS, only that SCOTUS wants to see the case make it’s way through the regular course of appeals.

At this date, even if the Trump administration took the ruling to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, the case wouldn’t possibly be heard at SCOTUS until this fall at the earliest.

Of course, Congress could choose to act legislatively on the issue, but who knows if that will happen?

News Round-Up: February 21, 2018

(via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

• In case you missed it, Jim Newman definitely wished you all a Happy Valentine’s Day (above)

• Melonie Diaz has been cast as the first magical sister in the Charmed CW reboot. She’ll play “Mel,” the time freezing lesbian sister of the trio of witches featured on the show.

• American voters overwhelmingly support allowing undocumented children brought to the U.S. as children, so-called “Dreamers,” to remain and eventually apply for citizenship by 80%-16%.

• Olympic silver medalist Gus Kenworthy says he’d like to explore acting as his next chapter and Wes Anderson would be his dream pick as director. Hey, Wes…

• Defense Secretary James Mattis’ deadline for recommending how to handle transgender military service members came and went today. What next?

• MTV fired reality personality James Eason for homophobic tweets that compared gays with dogs or fleas, or something really stupid.

Donald Trump Lies: “Democrats Totally Abandoned” DACA Recipients

Donald Trump

One day after three different plans to restore DACA protections failed to reach 60 votes in the Senate, Donald Trump attempted to shift responsibility for the ongoing debacle to the Democrats even though it was Trump himself who unilaterally ended the program.

A fourth plan, that was favored by Trump and sponsored by Sen. Chuck Grassley barely eked out 39 votes.

This morning Trump tweeted, “Cannot believe how BADLY DACA recipients have been treated by the Democrats…totally abandoned! Republicans are still working hard.”

He is literally lying to the American people. And the Twitterverse was not having it.

Trump Demands $18 Billion For Mexico Wall In Exchange For Saving DACA Recipients

After a bipartisan panel of five U.S. Senators have spent months hashing out an immigration deal that would tighter national security while also giving DACA recipients protection from deportation, Donald Trump has upended the game board issuing a list of demands including $18 billion to begin building a wall on the U.S./Mexican border before he will grant young immigrants protection.

From The New York Times:

The request, which totals $33 billion over a period of 10 years for border security measures including the wall, could jeopardize bipartisan talks aimed at getting an immigration deal. Among the items on Mr. Trump’s immigration wish-list: money to hire 10,000 additional immigration officers, tougher laws for those seeking asylum, and denial of federal grants to so-called “sanctuary cities.”

The list, delivered to Senator Richard J. Durbin, the Illinois Democrat who has been leading the talks related to young immigrants without documentation, is identical to one Democrats declared a non-starter when the White House issued it in October.

“President Trump has said he may need a good government shutdown to get his wall,” a furious Mr. Durbin said in an emailed statement Friday afternoon. “With this demand, he seems to be heading in that direction.’’

A poll in September (above) shows 62% of all Americans oppose building a wall along the U.S./Mexico border. Only 27% “strongly support” the idea of a wall.

Ann Coulter Is REALLY Disappointed In Donald Trump

Donald Trump’s recent statements saying he’s working with Democratic leaders Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi on developing legislation that would enshrine the DACA program into law are not sitting well with ex-Trumpster Ann Coulter.

Trump: “We’re Working On A Plan For DACA”

You could get whiplash following the story of whether or not Donald Trump has agreed to work with Democrats in Congress on solving the issue of DACA.

Last night Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi announced, after a dinner meeting at the White House, that Trump had agreed to support legislation that would allow undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children to remain in the states.

Then, Trump tweeted there was no deal.

Now, he says there is.

From the New York Times:

President Trump confirmed on Thursday morning that he supports legislation that would protect young undocumented immigrants from deportation and would deliver a “massive” increase in border security — but not with a wall on the southern border.

Mr. Trump’s comments, both in Washington and in Florida, affirmed the broad parameters of an agreement that Democratic leaders unilaterally announced Wednesday night after dinner with the president at the White House.

In remarks to reporters as he left the White House on Thursday, Mr. Trump said, “We’re working on a plan for DACA,” referring to protections for immigrants who are part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. He confirmed, “the wall will come later.”

Mr. Trump’s comments seemed to contradict his own Twitter posts early Thursday morning when he said, “no deal was made last night on DACA.” But they were very much in line with Democratic leaders’ statements. Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the House Democratic leader, also stopped short of calling their agreement a “deal” on Thursday.

But she told reporters, “We agreed to a plan to protect our nation’s Dreamers from deportation,” adding that there would be a “border security measure that does not include a wall” included in immigration legislation.

Anti-immigration Republicans like Rep. Steve King are furious over the developments: