In a significant blow to the Trump Administration, the Supreme Court denied, without comment, the administration’s request to leapfrog ahead the system to immediately appeal to the Supreme Court an adverse California federal court ruling on “DACA”- Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Previously, a California federal judge denied the Trump administration’s order to immediately end DACA—stating that the Administration was enjoined nationwide from ending it. It thereby ensured that almost 700,000 DREAMers may continue to remain in the country—at least for a while longer. DACA is the program established by President Obama in 2012 which protects against deportation some of those who entered the country illegally as children. Trump sought to end the program in March, 2018.
The current status of the case, in light of the court’s ruling, is the Trump administration must now go through the normal court route and appeal the ruling to the 9th circuit, which hears appeals from California’s lower federal courts. The Universities of the California filed a lawsuit stating that their lawsuit must be allowed to proceed before a ruling against DACA. Depending on the ruling in the 9th circuit after hearing oral arguments and filing briefs, the case may still eventually proceed to the Supreme Court. For now, it is not on the fast track that the Trump administration intended for it. It could take well over a year to reach the Supreme Court. By then—we may have a new Congress.
And for now, this puts DACA back in the public spotlight. With much recent focus on gun legislation in light of the Parklands, Florida school shooting and killing of 17 persons, many other issues have taken a back seat. It is as if the dyslexic Trump presidency and GOP controlled House and Senate lawmakers cannot focus on more than one issue at a time. And the issue of gun violence extends far beyond school shootings to violence in our cities and everywhere people go. Immigration and gun laws need fixing. Neither have been presented with any viable legislative fixes. With November, 2018 in the wings, it is all the more important that the Supreme Court declined to fast track DACA.
In the interim, everyone affected by DACA and this includes DREAMer’s schools, colleges, employers, families, friends and co-workers should register to vote and vote in the November midterm election. The future of over 600,000 persons who are in this country since childhood depends on it. For now, until November, 2018, their lives hang in the balance. Today’s Supreme Court decision gave DREAMers a much-needed reprieve. Perhaps following November, 2018’s midterms election, a change in the GOP party- controlled House will offer a permanent fix to both DACA, immigration and gun laws. If the GOP will not fix either DACA, immigration or gun control laws, we need to fix the GOP by voting them out of office.
Washington, DC based Debbie Hines is a trial lawyer, legal/political commentator and member of the Supreme Court bar.