DACA recipients and their supporters celebrate outside the U.S. Supreme Court after the court ruled in a 5-4 vote that U.S…
DACA recipients and their supporters celebrate outside the Supreme Court in Washington, June 18, 2020.

Young undocumented immigrants, higher education groups and college officials praised the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that protects those young people from deportation.   

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has allowed young immigrants — who have been in the U.S. since childhood but lack legal status — to work and study without the threat of deportation since 2012 by executive order of then-President Barack Obama. These immigrants are also referred to as Dreamers.  

The highest court in the U.S. decided that the administration of President Donald Trump improperly ended these immigrants' protection by executive order in March 2018. 

“For far too long, Dreamers have been held political hostage, unable to make long-term decisions about their education, jobs, or serving in the military,” " according to a statement from American Council on Education President Ted Mitchell.  

In this June 18, 2020, photo, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students celebrate in front of the Supreme Court after the Supreme Court rejected President Donald Trump's effort to end legal protections for young immigrants in Washington.

The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act would have given certain people brought to the U.S. as minors a path to legalization. Despite numerous introductions in Congress, the Dream Act has failed to pass so far.  

TheDream.US, a higher-education organization that provides college scholarships to dreamers and DACA recipients, said in a statement that students’ stories are especially powerful after the Supreme Court’s ruling.  

This week TheDream.US featured "Mia" of the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley and "Sara" of California State University-San Bernardino as “DREAMers of the Week.” Both DACA recipients were identified by first name only because of safety concerns.  

"I didn't ask to be brought here, but it happened, and I'm thankful because this country is amazing," said Mia. DACA "allows undocumented people to do things right. Ending the program will not stop immigration, it will only cause it to be illegal."  

Mia stated that she wants to establish a business, become her own boss, and buy a home.  

TheDream.US has provided more than 5,000 college scholarships to dreamers at 70 partner colleges in 16 states and Washington, D.C. 

“Sara” is working toward a degree in nutrition and food sciences. She said she wants to work in a hospital as a clinical dietitian before applying to graduate school to obtain a master’s degree in nutrition and dietetics. 

Her parents, she stated, “immigrated to the United States with nothing but the hope that their children would have the opportunity to receive a better education and a better life. … My whole life and all of my memories have been here and I don’t know anything else.”   

The Supreme Court's decision did not judge whether DACA is legal or illegal. It ruled that the Trump administration violated the Administrative Procedure Act, which governs how agencies make regulations and how they may rescind programs. 

Trump tweeted that he promised to submit “enhanced papers” to end DACA.  

“The Supreme Court asked us to resubmit on DACA, nothing was lost or won. They 'punted,' much like in a football game (where hopefully they would stand for our great American Flag),” Trump tweeted.

Other critics also took issue with the Supreme Court’s decision on social media.  
“How can you have an illegal DACA order signed by OBAMA then have to follow the 'law' to rescind such order?” @1bluifox said.

 

The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank based in Washington, also thinks DACA is “unlawful and unconstitutional,” and said the Supreme Court’s decision only delays ending the program.  

“The Trump administration must continue its vigorous and effective enforcement of America’s immigration laws, including securing the border and rejecting any other form of amnesty that will encourage even more illegal immigration,” according to a statement  from the organization. 

Yongbin Chang, a DACA recipient studying at the University of California-Berkeley School of Law, said although he felt happy about the Supreme Court's ruling, he is concerned by Trump’s promises to submit “enhanced papers” to rescind the program. 

“It’s good news, it’s surprising news, I’d say. It makes me feel more comfortable for the near future, but I also know there’s a lot of work ahead of us," Chang said, who moved to the U.S. from South Korea with his parents when he was a 3-year-old.  

"And also, the Supreme Court’s position wasn’t super-firm. It was good, but it doesn’t promise anything permanent,” he said. “I still have concerns." 

Despite Trump’s promise to end the DACA program, U.S. Representative Linda Sanchez of California said she doesn’t think it will happen. 

FILE - Rep. Linda Sanchez, D- Calif., pauses for a reporter's question on Capitol Hill in Washington, July 18, 2018.

“There is so much bipartisan support across the country to give Dreamers a permanent solution and allow them to stay," Sanchez said during a webinar about DACA sponsored by the Los Angeles Community College District.  

"I think it will be terribly, terribly unpopular for him to try to dismantle the DACA program. ... It would certainly motivate a lot of our community to come out and vote,” the Democratic congresswoman said. 

But Sanchez acknowledges that the 700,000 DACA recipients — who must renew their protections and work permits every two years — remain in danger of losing their protection. 

“We continue to pressure the Senate Republicans and the White House to follow our lead and to make H.R. 6, which is the Dreamer and Promise Act, the law of the land," she said. "We don't want any more excuses, we don’t want any more poison pills, we want that piece of legislation to get passed."

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