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Clock Ticking for Trump Administration to Open Up DACA to New Applicants 

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The President is Not Exempt from the Rule of Law

It’s been three weeks since the Supreme Court ruled against the Trump administration on DACA. But this administration has yet to provide guidance on how they intend to comply with the ruling. We understand the certification deadline is next week. 

So, what’s up, Trump administration? Do you intend to comply with the ruling? Ignore it altogether? Pretend that it gives you license to retake hostages for some nativist deal you think you might be able to leverage?

The SCOTUS ruling compels the Trump administration to continue renewing DACA for the 650,000 current DACA recipients, and to reopen DACA to new applicants, such as the 66,000 Dreamers who were too young to apply into DACA and were barred when Trump ended the program in September 2017. Instead of complying with the Supreme Court decision, the Trump administration is instead making noise about ending DACA once again. 

That would be an extremely unpopular move. According to Global Strategy Group (in polling conducted on behalf of The Immigration Hub, America’s Voice, and FWD.us), in the twelve 2020 battleground states, Americans support citizenship for Dreamers by 72-19%. This includes strong majorities of Democrats (88-7%), Independents (69-13%) and Republicans (57-33%). The GSG poll echoes other DACA and Dreamer polls in recent years that find that Americans overwhelmingly support Dreamers. See this recent poll roundup.

According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice: 

“Trump and his enablers operate as if ‘law and order’ is something inflicted on others and deflected from friends and family. But the President is not exempt from the rule of law. The clock is ticking for the Trump administration to comply by the Supreme Court ruling on DACA. 

A sane and politically wise White House would, at a minimum, accept the SCOTUS decision and the public’s verdict and reopen this popular program to all those eligible. But Trump is obsessed with wielding racism and xenophobia as political and cultural weapons, and Stephen Miller is obsessed with burning down the immigration system on his way out the door. 

Whatever fresh cruelty they try to inflict on Dreamers is unlikely to be implemented before a new administration comes in to clean up the damage they have wrought. Of course, Congress could and should step up to provide certainty.”