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Ahead of 8-Year Anniversary of DACA Announcement, A Tale of Two Americas 

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Supreme Court Could Allow Trump to Kill Popular, Successful Program

Monday not only represents another potential Supreme Court decision day for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, but also the 8-year anniversary of President Obama’s Rose Garden speech announcing the creation of DACA. In the subsequent 8 years, DACA has strengthened America and proven itself an incredibly popular and successful program both for 800,000+ Dreamers and the country as a whole.

The contrast between that celebratory day, arriving after years of courage and testimonials from Dreamers themselves and progressives and Democrats pushing their own Democratic President to do better, and the current moment we find ourselves in now is both depressing and instructive. Not only is DACA imperiled thanks to the Trump Administration, but Stephen Miller and his cabal of fellow nativist true believers are turbocharging a host of other anti-immigrant policies, as we detail below.

According to Pili Tobar, Deputy Director of America’s Voice, “While we celebrate the way DACA has changed lives and strengthened families and communities across America, we also mourn the fact that such a popular and successful program is endangered despite 85% of the country (including 73% of Republicans and 84% of independents) supporting Dreamers. We also know that Stephen Miller and his small contingent of deeply embedded anti-immigrant allies who oppose DACA have imperiled its future and are going for broke on a host of other sweeping  policies that fundamentally seek to keep out and kick out immigrants and refugees. The Trump Administration is urgently seeking disruption and division, even where the American people are strongly united in defending Dreamers, DACA and DACA recipients. The average Dreamer arrived in the U.S. at age 6 and by definition, all DACA recipients have lived in the U.S. for 13 years or more and the American people do not want them uprooted and expelled, especially as we grapple with COVID-19 and upheaval because of racism and violence. Miller and Trump are doing a disservice to America’s best traditions – which are embodied by the DACA program and the hundreds of thousands of Dreamers and their children and families who are continuing to contribute to our safety, recovery and moving us forward.”

In addition to the impending DACA ruling, below are other Trump Administration developments from just this week alone that get at the heart of the relentlessness with which this Administration is pursuing exclusion and division in a time when we should be focussed on healing, safety and recovery: 

  • New regulation to gut the asylum system to make it virtually impossible for anyone to be granted refuge in the United States (read this DHS Watch explainer for more);
  • Leaked plans to slash legal immigration, including by suspending a host of employment-based visas;
  • Planned furloughs for up to 15,000 USCIS employees – a consequence of their nativist policies and mismanagement (read this Catherine Rampell syndicated column for more);
  • Continued mismanagement and intentional diversion of funds as detailed in this GAO report that money appropriated for CBP for medical care for migrants was instead spent on dirt bikes and dog food; 
  • Re-upped ugly Trump 2020 campaign plans to run on “crime, China, and immigration,” a triumvirate of xenophobic and racist themes, while reports simultaneously highlight a potential Trump/Stephen Miller speech on racial unity (or, more realistically, racial incitement and division).