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As Trump Defies Supreme Court on DACA, Republican Silence is Deafening

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In Refusing to Reign In Trump, GOP Senators Provide “An Example of Politics Reigning Over Law.”

The Trump administration is now in “open defiance of the law” and the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on DACA.

The Supreme Court ruled against the administration a month ago. The proper response is for the administration to accept the verdict and reopen DACA to all of those eligible – as defined by the original program standards from 2012. Instead, the administration is defying the Supreme Court ruling and refusing to act. Now, we have the first reports of the Trump administration actively refusing to accept new DACA applications in violation of the SCOTUS ruling.

An NPR story, “Despite Supreme Court’s Ruling On DACA, Trump Administration Rejects New Applicants,” describes that a 17-year old high school student named Diego was too young to apply in 2017 when Trump closed down the program, but now fits the DACA eligibility requirements. He had his application denied by the administration:

“There are hundreds of thousands of Diegos in this country — young people who would be eligible to sign up for DACA, except that the Trump administration is still not accepting new, first-time applications.

…’That’s insane. That’s a violation of the order,’ said Bill Ong Hing, professor of law and Director of the Immigration and Deportation Defense Clinic at the University of San Francisco. It’s been nearly a month since the Supreme Court’s ruling. So technically, Hing says, that order should be in full effect and DACA should be operating exactly the way it was before the administration moved to end it. ‘Legally, there’s no basis to reject any new applications,’ Hing said. ‘I’m very upset and disturbed that this is an example of politics reigning over law.’”

A new Senate letter to Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf calls on the Trump administration to comply with the Supreme Court ruling and accept new DACA applications. The letter, led by Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Kamala Harris (D-CA), is signed by 33 Democratic Senators and zero Republican Senators. It notes

“The Roberts decision requires your immediate compliance. We await your prompt assurance that you will respect the Court’s decision and reopen DACA for all eligible applicants.”

According to Douglas Rivlin, Director of Communication for America’s Voice: 

“For the Trump administration, the ‘rule of law’ is a weapon to wield against people seen as opponents or unwanted. They did not like the SCOTUS decision and now they are defying it. 

This is not just another attack on people of color and immigrants. This is an attack on the Constitutional order. Defying the Supreme Court? They have deepened our nation’s democracy and governance crisis.

Republican Senators, especially those in diversifying states and those who have expressed timid support for Dreamers with DACA, have been silent. Sens. Thom Tillis (R-NC), Martha McSally (R-AZ), John Cornyn (R-TX), Susan Collins (R-ME), David Perdue (R-GA), Kelly Loeffler (R-GA), Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Cory Gardner (R-CO) ought to be raising a ruckus and highlighting Trump’s violation of the Supreme Court order, but they seem willing to let the ‘Law and Order’ President slide again on the law and on the orders handed down by the nation’s highest court.

We’re not talking carefully worded tweets, or vague pro-Dreamer statements or on-background fretting about Trump’s divisiveness. Republican Senators should be standing up to Trump publicly and refusing to be complicit any longer as he tramples on the Supreme Court and the separation of powers enshrined in the Constitution. When the President injects needless cruelty and uncertainty into the lives of Dreamers, Republicans need to say something and do something. Instead, their silence is deafening.”