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On Future of DACA: Trump, Republicans and SCOTUS All “Own This“

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“For Stephen Miller, the administration’s DACA strategy is ‘heads, I win; tails, you lose.’”

“We own this” said Republican Solicitor General Noel Francisco before the Supreme Court on Tuesday morning. Indeed, the Trump administration does own the demise of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA). The decision to terminate DACA in September 2017 was by the hand of this administration. The decision to thwart a bipartisan legislative solution was by the hand of the President and the GOP in Congress. And the decision to expedite the case was by the hand of Supreme Court.

As Cristian Farias pointedly concludes in his New York Magazine piece, “As if putting words in the president’s mouth, Francisco said, ‘We own this.’ The Supreme Court too will have to own this. Because for better or for worse, whatever a majority of the justices conclude will reflect how the United States government treats those…who have made America their home.”

And, as much as the Tweeter-in-chief may pretend that a legislative deal is at hand, history suggests just the opposite. As POLITICO’s Burgess Everett reports: “Don’t count on the Senate to save Dreamers from SCOTUS:” 

“The man is not looking for a solution. Stephen Miller and his gang are in his ear and his mind with their hate-filled approach to immigration. He crumbles every time his heart starts moving to” the Dreamers, [Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL)] said. And that won’t change “unless in a moment of desperation he thinks it’s his only way to get reelected.”

…“It is exceptionally difficult to make any deal that sticks. For a man who is supposed to be a great deal-maker, we have yet to see a great deal,” centrist Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) said.

…Just eight Republicans joined the Democrats on the compromise immigration proposal in 2018, a number advocates say could have been much higher without Trump and his aides intervening to oppose it.

“The night before it had 60. … And overnight we lost six Republicans,” said Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine). “I read different things and hear different things that [Trump] is actually sympathetic to the DACA population. But he’s obviously under pressure from hardliners like Stephen Miller to do the wrong thing.”

According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, “For Stephen Miller, the administration’s DACA strategy is ‘heads, I win; tails, you lose.’ If the Supreme Court does the dirty work of ending DACA, Miller wants one of two things: a deal that leverages the suffering of Dreamers for a nativist wishlist of radical and unpopular legislative changes; or no deal, which allows Trump to be the chest-thumping xenophobe his base and right-wing media cheerleaders love. Some believe that Trump really wants a fair deal and that he’d never subject Dreamers to deportation. We beg to differ. Trump has torpedoed five bipartisan deals that would have protected those with DACA. With his administration’s cruelty toward immigrants and refugees on full display every day, it should come as no surprise that the newly-promoted Ken Cuccinelli admits that DACA recipients would be subject to deportations. The administration has tried to end DACA without being held responsible. Now they face the prospect of owning it, along with the GOP and the Supreme Court. Let us hope that Chief Justice John Roberts does the right thing.”