Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments over the legality of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The program, which has been in place since 2012, protects “Dreamers” – some 800,000 young immigrants whose parents brought them to the U.S. illegally as children. It has been under fire since President Trump took office.
The president attempted to rescind the program in 2017 – an effort which has been shot down in lower courts. Now, the issue has finally made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, where the decision on the issue will become final. With a politically divided panel of justices, the outcome of this case is in no way certain.
Arguments for DACA
Many supporters of DACA point to the ways in which Dreamers boost the U.S. economy. They pay taxes. They start businesses. Apple Inc. has openly supported Dreamers in this fight. The company’s chief executive officer described Dreamers in his workforce as exceptionally creative, innovative, driven and selfless. He said they are “vital to Apple’s success.”
Arguments against DACA
Opponents of DACA see Dreamers as people who should be penalized for being brought to this country illegally when they were children. There are also many myths surrounding Dreamers, such as that they somehow get a free ride from the government and that their status gives them a path to citizenship. Neither of these is true.
For now, Dreamers – and the rest of the country – must sit and wait. We must hope that goodness ultimately prevails. We must trust that the Supreme Court does the moral thing and votes to protect the lives of 800,000 fellow humans.