It’s easy to write-off the Obama Administration as one of the worst failures in presidential history. Obama’s politically-motivated actions caused the rise of ISIS, unnecessarily prolonged the recession, and he routinely engaged in overreach. While his 2012 decision to create the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was likely unconstitutional, it was a humanitarian effort to give Congress time to break the immigration deadlock. Obviously, that never happened.
Facing several imminent lawsuits by state attorney generals, President Donald Trump made a last-ditch effort to secure a future for upwards of 800,000 people who had been brought to the U.S. as children at no fault of their own. Trump offered Democrats permanent residency for these young people. He also offered a pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million people who were smuggled into the country as minors in return for funding to secure the U.S. southern border. Democrats voted down the Dreamers’ future in a rare moment when President Trump convinced Republicans to deliver them from a limbo of not being legal residents, citizens, and under perpetual threat of deportation.
Now known as “Dreamers,” they have grown into adults who are for all intents and purposes Americans. The nearly 800,000 that signed up for DACA and played by the rules have held their collective breath as the end of the program made its way through the courts. The U.S. Supreme Court has taken up the case, and these are three things you should know as a final decision is reached.
1: The Case Will Be Decided Before the 2020 Election
The high court is expected to hear oral arguments on the various lower court DACA disputes by the end of 2019. If their usual schedule holds true, then a decision would be forthcoming no later than June 2020. This is an important date because the U.S. Supreme Court decision is unlikely to render DACA status immediately null and void. In all likelihood, applicants would not be subject to deportation until their status expired. This gives the Trump Administration, Senate, and House time to act. The president remains willing to strike a deal. It’s also important because this will be a significant campaign issue if the DACA program is struck down.
2: The High Court is Consolidating Three Separate DACA Cases
After the Trump Administration followed through on a deal to eliminate the seemingly illegal program after Congressional Democrats refused to act, three separate challenges were filed in traditionally left-leaning courts located in the District of Columbia, New York, and the so-called “Nutty Ninth” in California. Yes, liberals went judge shopping as has been the case since Trump won the 2016 election. The lawsuits attempting to prevent the end of DACA claim that the process failed to follow the Administrative Procedure Act, and also violated the Dreamers’ rights. The high court took the rare initiative in this case by calling it for review before the lower court process had been completed. The three cases are DHS v. Regents of the University of California (18-587); Trump v. NAACP (18-588); and McAlleenan v. Vidal (18-589).
3: Experts Expect an End of DACA, But…
Although Democratic state attorney generals and left-wing activists claim victory after lower court decisions, the Trump Administration learned during the first year to play the long game. From travel bans to border wall funding and everything in between, Democrats have run to political activists wearing robes to get the ruling they want. The Trump Administration has consistently won as the U.S. Supreme Court.
That being said, the basic premise is that DACA is an unconstitutional program because it provides a unique and exclusive right to one class of people. Compounding the special rights issue, people in DACA are not even American citizens. To bestow any rights on non-citizens would require an act of Congress and signature of the president. Obama sidestepped the legislative process. As sad as it may seem, the clock has run out, and false Democrat promises to elevate this group of young adults have been exposed.
With President Trump restoring the conservative bloc of the U.S. Supreme Court by nominating justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, legal experts anticipate the decision to end DACA, 5-4. The program is inherently flawed, and the executive branch certainly retains the authority to nix a program that has no force of law behind it.
One caveat to consider is that President Trump has expressed heartfelt regret about ending the program. The deal Democrats rejected included border security and wall funding in conjunction with Dreamer citizenship. Given the fact that Trump has outfoxed his political opponents to fund the wall and ramp up security, he may be open to straightforward amnesty if Congress again fails to act.