Will The Court Do The Right Thing?

Nearly a million young people may soon find themselves adrift, without a home or a job, and yet it is barely a blip on the radar, lost in the hoopla surrounding the impeachment proceedings.  Granted, the impeachment of a corrupt president is high priority, is perhaps the most important thing happening in this nation at the moment.  But, the lives of 700,000+ young people are pretty important, too.

Imagine you came to this country as a very young child … your first memories are of life in the United States.  You speak English, you went to school in this country, got an after-school job when you were 16, graduated high school with honours, and now you’re in college, studying to become a doctor, a teacher, or an accountant.  Your grades have earned you a partial scholarship, you are working nights at a food processing plant … and tomorrow it could all be taken away.  You could lose your job, be kicked out of school, and in fact be deported.

Deported?  To where?  You’ve never been outside the U.S. in your conscious memory!  This is your home!  You know nobody in the country of your parents’ origin.  What will you do?  How will you live?  You barely even speak Spanish!  And why?  What have you done wrong?  You’ve never even had so much as a parking ticket … you’ve lived your life well, respecting others, respecting the country that gave your family the opportunity for a better life.

More than 700,000 young people may face this situation soon, if he Supreme Court rules in Trump’s favour on the issue of ending DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy that has been in effect since 2012.  Yesterday, the Court heard arguments from both sides, and indications are that they will likely rule in Trump’s favour.

In 2012, President Barack Obama introduced the program, which shields people who were brought to the United States as children from deportation. It was intended as a stopgap measure, and didn’t provide a pathway to citizenship. But it did allow participants, known as Dreamers, to get work permits, and in some states, including California, to access in-state tuition and legally drive. Dreamers can renew their status in two-year intervals.

To be eligible for DACA status, applicants had to show that they had arrived in the United States before they turned 16 and were no older than 30, had lived in the United States for at least the previous five years, were a high school graduate or a veteran, and had committed no serious crimes. The status lasts for two years, allows recipients to work legally and is renewable, but it does not provide a path to citizenship.

In 2017, for reasons I cannot understand, Trump decided to end the program.  Trump had previously indicated his support for DACA, but it was the work of white supremacist Stephen Miller and racist former Attorney General Jeff Sessions that convinced Trump to end the program.  They claimed that the program was illegal and unconstitutional, and apparently Trump, never having read the Constitution, decided to end the program.  In his formal announcement to end the program, Trump wrote …

“I do not favor punishing children. The program is unlawful and unconstitutional and cannot be successfully defended in court.”

However, it has been successfully defended in court, not once, not twice, but three times.  Three federal appeals courts have ruled that when an administration revokes a policy like this, on which so many people, businesses and even the U.S. economy have relied, the administration must provide a fully supported rationale that weighs the pros and cons of the program, the costs and the benefits. Faced with those lower court decisions, the Trump administration appealed to the Supreme Court, where it now awaits its fate.

These young people have faced discrimination that nobody reading this post has likely ever faced. They are banned from many colleges, are not eligible for any federal grants or loans, and in most states,  they cannot even qualify for in-state tuition.  And yet thousands of them have graduated from college in the United States. How do they do it? The motivation of many of these students is so strong it is almost absurd.  And if Trump has his way, it may well be a death sentence for many of the 700,000.

Maria Nava, who graduated from high school in 2003, received no state aid. But her generous sister promised to contribute her own earnings to help put Nava through college. Trouble was, their combined earnings weren’t much. Nava used up the small private scholarships she earned as a top-ranking student. Most semesters, the sisters could afford just one class at Nava’s local community college. One class at a time. Nava graduated from her two-year college in 11 years.

If the Supreme Court overturns lower court injunctions and says Trump followed the law in rescinding DACA, not one of these amazing, accomplished young people will be able to work for a law-abiding employer in the United States.  After Nava’s 11 years at a two-year college, after more than 8,000 DACA teachers have been hired by U.S. school systems, after 14,000 DACA nurses and other professionals got jobs in health care — all who have jobs will have to be fired when their DACA expires. Those who are students will be ineligible for a job with a law-abiding employer.

I sincerely hope that there are five justices on the Supreme Court who have not exchanged their conscience for partisanship.  If the Court sides with Donald Trump & Stephen Miller on this issue, we will know that the Judiciary Branch of our government is no longer an independent, non-partisan branch, but rather an extension of the Executive Branch, currently led by a bigoted, corrupt, wanna-be dictator.

46 thoughts on “Will The Court Do The Right Thing?

  1. To all Dreamers: Come north if you can. Canada appreciates people like you. Before you let anyone send you anywhere, cross the Canadian border and claim refugee status. The majority of Canadians will welcome you with open arms, and a middle finger stuck up Trump’s nose!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. this whole thing..the entire trump administration gives us a classic war of good verses evil. There is so much at stake beyond just politics..the very future of the world, not just the US..
    He is evil personified and his entrapped Republican political cult as well as his ignorant, religious extremist, racist and money hungry less educated cult are the ones responsible for his power. One sold their souls and the other sold their brains, although many had no brains to begin with.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is not the world we envisioned when we got rid of Jim Crow laws, when we applauded Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. We have gone in the wrong direction, yet many cannot … or will not … see that. Sigh. I’m wondering why I am still here, for I obviously don’t fit in this world, don’t belong here.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I find this administration cruel and heartless to rescind DACA, not in the best interest of our country or these young hard working ppl, but for the stupid purpose of “winning” the partisan politics game. Sad times we live in.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Jill, since Obama acted with an executive order after giving up on the House taking up the bipartisan Senate immigration bill, I will be surprised if this court says Trump does not have authority to change it. Congress will need to do their job to fix it working with a president who already reneged on a bipartisan compromise stabbing his friend Lindsey Graham in the back.

    What also frustrates me is Marco Rubio ran away from his greatest legislative accomplishment being on Senate bipartisan Gang of Eight to pass an immigration bill. It frustrates me as John Boehner, Trump and Rubio felt it was winner politically not to solve this problem. I find that Machiavellian and poor governance. So, these DACA kids will suffer the consequences of their political machinations. I truly wish this is all untrue, but it is not. Keith

    Liked by 3 people

    • Jill, I read today the Senate would not be eager to discuss remedying DACA. I cannot emphasize enough the disruption that will occur not only to these people, but those who employ them. I can assure Senator McConnell, business leaders will pressure him to act if he does not. Finding and keeping talent is paramount. And, unlike the president’s changing rhetoric, the DACA folks are people who value this country and offering a great deal to it. Keith

      Liked by 1 person

      • As long as the Senate is led by Mitch McConnell, they will sweep under the carpet anything that Trump doesn’t like, such as the House bill on election security. You are right … the Dreamers have had to work harder to get an education and decent jobs, so they appreciate it more, and they ARE making big contributions in many fields. To expel them because they weren’t born here is unconscionable.

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    • I’m thinking you’re right on all counts, though I keep holding out hope. Even if Congress manages to get their act together and pass legislation to not only protect the Dreamers, but also give them a path to citizenship, it will likely be too late. I’m betting Trump will start deporting as soon as he finishes cackling after the Court upholds his cruelty. Sigh.

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  5. This is a cruel and possibly lethal blow to these children and young adults. Many will have been brought to the US from countries with unstable regimes and while the boys may be expected to join gangs the girls will be very vulnerable. I am not expecting it but I hope the court sees that President Obama’s choice was legal and was constitutional as well as being humane.
    Cwtch

    Liked by 2 people

    • It is cruel, and almost certain to be lethal for some. How will they support themselves, buy food, shelter, etc. Where will they go? Where will they live? It is unconscionable, but unfortunately Neil is right in what he says, that they are only allowed to consider whether Trump has the right to rescind the policy and whether or not it is constitutional. I hope that somewhere in the backs of their minds they remember that there are PEOPLE … human beings … involved here. Sigh.
      Cwtch

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Well said Jill. Yes, impeachment inquiry is needed and warranted. But here is yet another example of his callous disregard for human life. The majority of these dreamers are all doing right by the country. They’re working hard. Playing by the rules. It’s not enough I guess. The program seemed to be working, as intended. But, cruelty IS the point, right? Sure seems that way. I sure hope Justice Roberts comes through on this one because I’m pretty sure the other four right-wing hacks will rule in favor of Trump. Fingers crossed!

    Liked by 4 people

    • The point, I think, from Trump’s and his follower’s perspective is “Make America White/Christian Again”. Have you seen the latest pieces about Stephen Miller? I am thoroughly disgusted by the overt racism, white supremacy … and he is one of Trump’s “most trusted” advisors! Like you, I am counting on Chief Justice Roberts. And, I am hoping for a quick recovery from the flu for Justice Ginsberg!!! We need her now more than ever!

      Liked by 3 people

      • It’s heart wrenching, RBG is very tired and not in the best of health, but she soldiers on nevertheless hoping to see a change in administration before passing the mantle to a responsible liberal. This would only happen when Democrats take back both houses and the election in 2020! Until then she will fight till her last breath, like the rest of us.
        My only wish is the Democratic Party clean up it’s act and work on behalf of the ppl instead of corporations and big gov’t. We don’t need 2 Republican Parties like we have now. Too many DINOs sabotaging our chances of winning b/c they (secretly) rather have Trump remain in office rather than a progressive like Bernie or Tulsi, even Warren.
        This upcoming election will be the most contentious ever, and will define America for the foreseeable future.

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      • I have not seen the Miller stuff yet. I heard about it though. Again, a white nationalist with this much power and influence..in the White House? It’s gonna take years to recover from this nightmare Jill….

        Liked by 1 person

        • When he first took office, I said that if we could get him out within a year or two, the damage would likely be reparable, but that if he served his full 4-year term, it would take decades to repair, and even so, the country will never be the same. That is his legacy. My hope is that eventually the country will learn from all of this and become better than before, but that eventuality is certainly not going to happen in my lifetime, nor likely yours. Sigh.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. This is a difficult case.

    The court will not be deciding what is in the best interest of these children.

    The court will not be deciding what is in the best interest of the nation.

    The court will only be deciding whether the president has the authority to make these changes.

    The fateful decision was the one made by voters in November 2016.

    Liked by 5 people

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