Once again, DREAMers and DACA recipients are caught in the crossfire between President Donald Trump and Democratic lawmakers. On Sunday night, Trump issued Democrats an ultimatum of sorts, asking Dems to grant them several concessions in exchange for the protecting DREAMers and DACA recipients.
This latest pushback from the president comes less than two days after the deadline for the DACA renewal application.
So what’s on Trump’s list of demands? According to The New York Times, here’s what Trump wants in exchange for protecting DREAMers and DACA recipients:
Construction and funding approval for the border wall.
Approve the hiring of 10,000 immigrant agents.
Tough laws on those applying for asylum or applying as refugees.
The rejection of federal grants to “Sanctuary Cities.”
The implementation of the E-Verify program, which would essentially keep undocumented immigrants from obtaining employment.
“The administration can’t be serious about compromise or helping the Dreamers if they begin with a list that is anathema to the Dreamers, to the immigrant community and to the vast majority of Americans,” said Senator Chuck Schumer of New York and Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the Democratic leaders in the Senate and the House, in a joint statement.
Pelosi has gotten some backlash from undocumented immigrants because they claim she is playing with the fate of millions of people by even trying to compromise with Trump. Last month, protestors disrupted Pelosi during an event in which they said the Democratic leader should fight for the protection of all undocumented immigrants, not just DREAMers and DACA recipients.
This week the Supreme Court went back into session, kicking off what’s expected to be one of the most divisive and controversial terms in recent history. Everything from LGBTQ and abortion rights, to yes, DACA, is on the docket, and America will get to see the impact of the addition of Trump-appointee Brett Kavanaugh.
Although judges are expected to be politically impartial, Kavanaugh’s contentious confirmation hearing after being accused of sexual assault, left him charging Democrats with unfairly going after his character.
Now, some experts are bracing for a possible “conservative revolution,” after the court overturned two precedents (a highly unusual move) last term, and President Donald Trump has successfully appointed 150 judges to lifetime seats on the bench (whoever told said your vote didn’t matter, lied.)
In its newly started session, the Supreme Court isn’t shying away from hot topic issues – including a decision that will decide the outcome of DACA once and for all.
President Donald Trump’s signature issue is immigration, and in November the court will consider his administration’s decision to phase out DACA, an Obama-era initiative that protects nearly 700,000 young undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children from deportation. The eventual ruling will have a major impact on way or another in the presidential race.
At issue before the justices is not the legality of the program, but how the administration decided to phase it out.
Plaintiffs, including the University of California, a handful of states and DACA recipients argue that the phase out violated the Administrative Procedure Act, a federal law that governs how agencies can establish regulations. Lower courts agreed and issued nationwide injunctions that allowed renewals in the program to continue. The Trump administration appealed the decision to the Supreme Court, and at the time, the President predicted success: “We want to be in the Supreme Court on DACA,” he said.
Groups of all kinds are filing so-called Amicus briefs to the Suprme Court urging them to protect DACA.
More than 100 different cities from across the country, dozens of major colleges and universities, and some of the country’s largest companies all joined together to defend DACA.
The brief filed by some 165 educational institutions said: “These extraordinary young people should be cherished and celebrated, so that they can achieve their dreams and contribute to the fullest for our country. Banishing them once more to immigration limbo — a predicament they had no part in creating — is not merely cruel, but irrational.”
Even the Mexican government filed a brief with the court.
Mexico has had little legal recourse in it’s fight against Trump’s cruel and (as many consider) illegal policies targeting the migrant community. And a large part of the migrant community (including those attacked at the El Paso Massacre) are Mexican nationals. So the government has been eager to take a stand.
And with the upcoming legal battle regarding DACA, Mexico has staked its position in support of DREAMers by filing an Amicus brief with the court. The brief points out the commitment to human rights and the principles of dignity that should be afforded to all humans – regardless of their migration status.
Meanwhile, children advocates point out that eliminating the program would also harm more than a quarter million US-born children.
More than three dozenchild advocacy organizations say White House officials failed to account for a quarter of a million children born in the U.S. whose parents are protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program when they repealed it in 2017.
“These children are endangered not only by the actual detention and deportation of their parents, but also the looming fear of deportation,” the groups wrote in an amicus brief filed with the Supreme Court last week. “The imminent threat of losing DACA protection places children at risk of losing parental nurturance, as well as losing income, food security, housing, access to health care, educational opportunities, and the sense of safety and security that is the foundation of healthy child development.”
Children’s health experts have been sounding the alarm on the impact of toxic stress inflicted on children impacted by the Trump administration’s immigration agenda. Studies have linked toxic stress to developmental issues with children’s brains and bodies and an increase in their risk of disorders ranging from diabetes to depression, heart disease, cancer, addiction and premature death.
DACA was created by an Obama executive order in 2012, and the Trump Administration announced in September 2017 it was officially ending the program.
When the Trump administration officially announced the end of the DACA program in September 2017, there were nearly 800,000 young immigrants around the country who benefited from it.
Three lawsuits challenging the termination of DACA filed in California, the District of Columbia and New York eventually led to courts prohibiting the government from phasing out the immigration program. Those lawsuits argued that ending the DACA program violated the rights of those covered by its benefits and ran counter to a federal law governing administrative agencies, according to SCOTUSblog. The Supreme Court consolidated those three lawsuits and will hear arguments on the DACA case on Nov. 12.
The justices will consider whether the court even has the authority to review the Trump administration’s decision to end DACA and, if so, whether the decision to end DACA is legal.
Predictably, President Trump has urged the court to strike down DACA.
As recently as Wednesday, President Trump said his predecessor had no authority to initiate the DACA program in the first place, and that if the Supreme Court overturns it, as it should, Congress would likely find a legislative solution to allowing DACA recipients to remain in the U.S.
“The Republicans and Democrats will have a DEAL to let them stay in our Country, in very short order,” he tweeted Wednesday. “It would actually benefit DACA, and be done the right way!”
Pew Research Center, a reliable source for polling about U.S. politics and policy, found that Americans like ICE the least of all federal agencies. While public trust in federal institutions is at a historic low, many expressed favorable views of agencies that provide social services and goods.
Unsurprisingly, the U.S. postal service (free mail delivery!) ranked highest with 90 percent, with the National Park Service coming in a close second at 86 percent, and NASA in at third with 81 percent.
However, Pew notes, “Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is the sole agency asked about in the survey viewed more negatively (54% unfavorable) than positively (42% favorable), while the public is divided in its view of the Department of Education (48% favorable, 48% unfavorable).”
ICE ranked the worst federal agency by Americans.
While ICE is the most hated federal agency, the distaste for the organization is largely split across partisan lines. About 70 percent of Republicans and right of center independents view ICE favorably, but only 19 percent of Democrats and left of center independents do. However, overall ICE had the lowest favorability ranking of the bunch with the least percentage of 42% and the highest percentage of unfavorability with a percentage of 54.
Other organizations that were ranked unfavorable were ones that appear to be failing the public, the second most-hated was the Department of Education, and the third most-hated was Veterans Affairs. Both of the organizations have been under scrutiny for years, while the Dept of Ed. has come under more fire under United States Secretary of Education and Trump appointee Betsy DeVos.
Criticism of ICE mounts with Abolish ICE.
Abolish ICE is a political movement that advocates for the abolition of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Abolish ICE has gained more momentum since 2017 when the Trump administration began ramping up stricter immigration policies, including banning Muslims, diverting $6.2 billion in funds to build a wall at the southern border between U.S. and Mexico, and utilizing a child separation policy.
Abolish ICE proponents note that ICE was created in 2003, and thus, it is not necessary to monitor immigration and maintain border security.
“In this era, ICE has just taken off the gloves, going full throttle without regard to consequences,” Katrina Eiland, staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union’s Immigrant Rights Project, told PS Mag. “This is a perfect example of that. They don’t have any logical enforcement priorities anymore—everyone is an enforcement priority.”
While ICE was initially intended to monitor and deport immigrants who commit crimes in the U.S., under the Trump administration, and sometimes in Obama’s, it has been used to track those who have committed the “crime” of entering the U.S. without documentation.
Activist and writer Sean McElwee is credited with popularizing the #AbolishICE hashtag in 2017 which catapulted it into a movement in the real world spawning protests. The Hill also notes that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez brought the call to action into the political sphere.
“The biggest moment for the Abolish ICE movement though came after Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a self-described democratic socialist, upset Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.), in a primary. As she leapt into the spotlight, she brought the calls to abolish ICE, into the national debate,” according to The Hill.
“Within days of her victory, abolishing ICE had become a litmus test for Democrats running in the midterms and for those seen as potential 2020 presidential contenders.”
Advocates believe ICE is a tool of white supremacy.
ICE has used increasingly brutal tactics like force-feeding detainees on hunger strikes, arresting citizens on the basis that they “look Hispanic,” and arresting undocumented immigrants when they show up for court appearances.
The ACLU believes ICE and Border Patrol have increasingly abused their power, claiming their removal tactics take away immigrants’ rights to a fair hearing and that they potentially violate many of the Fourth Amendment’s protections including, ” the constitutional guarantee of equal protection and freedom from discrimination based on race, ethnicity, and national origin.”
“The central assumption of ICE in 2018 is that any undocumented immigrant is inherently a threat. In that way, ICE’s tactics are philosophically aligned with racist thinkers like Richard Spencer,” McElwee told PS Mag.
“Though the [Democratic] party has moved left on core issues from reproductive rights to single-payer health care, it’s time for progressives to put forward a demand that deportation be taken not as the norm but rather as a disturbing indicator of authoritarianism.”
Pew notes that just 17 percent of adults say they trust the federal government to do what is right, while 71 percent say they trust the government “only some of the time.” While it remains to be seen if ICE will ever be abolished, it is clear that the majority of Americans would prefer it that way.
Share this story with all of your friends by tapping our little share buttons below!