The Supreme Court will meet to discuss whether the Trump administration can eliminate a policy called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) that protects more than 800,000 young, undocumented immigrants from deportation, justices announced Friday morning.
In 2017, President Trump attempted to use executive action to revoke the program, which was an executive branch memorandum signed by President Obama in 2012. Judges decided to uphold major parts of DACA, which grants work permits to individuals who have an unlawful presence in the United States after being brought to the country as children. Recipients get renewable two-year deferments of deportation.
Mayra Camacho is a DACA recipient who was born in Mexico, and her family crossed the border into the U.S. when she was just three years old.
“We were fleeing poverty, lack of educational opportunity and trying to survive,” Camacho said. “We literally had no food.”
Camacho grew up in Fort Smith, but she couldn’t go to college after she graduated high school because she couldn’t work to afford higher education.
“But 2012 comes around, and I’m able to get DACA to get a job to fund my education, which was triple the amount of in-state tuition,” Camacho said.
Camacho said she fears thousands of recipients who grew up in America will be left in limbo if the Supreme Court justices decide to eliminate the program.
“That would be catastrophic,” Camacho said. “It would take us back to square one which was a nightmare.”
Sen. John Boozman (R) said Obama exceeded his presidential power by enacting the policy in the first place. He said Americans and congress need to work together to figure out how to address the immigration issue.
“The law is the law,” Boozman said. “I think probably that President Obama went too far with the current DACA law according to the powers that he had.”
The Supreme Court will meet in its next term to discuss the situation. That will begin in October. Justices said they will announce the results in Spring or Summer 2020.