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Democrats Call for DACA Legislation While Trump and GOP Slam SCOTUS

Democrats want a permanent guarantee for DACA after the Supreme Court's decision leaves room for Trump to upend it again

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Democratic lawmakers are pushing for a permanent solution for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival recipients following a landmark decision from the Supreme Court, while conservative senators were left fuming at Chief Justice John Roberts. 

After the DACA decision and another one earlier this week protecting LGBTQ people against employment discrimination, President Trump suggested the Supreme Court needs new justices. “Do you get the impression that the Supreme Court doesn’t like me?” Trump tweeted shortly after the court ruled Thursday.

Seeing as the Supreme Court decision only denied the Trump administration’s attempt to end DACA for procedural reasons, Sen. Dick Durbin (D–Ill.) pleaded with senators Thursday to back legislation to codify DACA. Durbin called on the Senate to pass the American Dream and Promise Act, which the House passed last year. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus and several other Democratic lawmakers joined the calls to pass the bill. 

On Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled that an attempt by the Trump administration to rescind the program, which protects immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children from deportation, was an “arbitrary” and “capricious” violation of the law. The justices voted 5-4, with the conservative Chief Justice John Roberts siding with the court’s liberal judges.

Republican senators did not hide their disdain for the Supreme Court’s ruling, focusing their ire on Roberts. GOP Sens. Tom Cotton (Ark.), Ted Cruz (Texas), Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Josh Hawley (Mo.) criticized Roberts. “Sadly over recent years, more and more, Chief Justice Roberts has been playing games with the court to achieve the policy outcomes he desires,” Cruz said. 

The Supreme Court’s ruling does not block the Trump administration from attempting to rescind the program again through different means. The court ruled the method the administration used to end DACA was illegal, not that it didn’t have the power to do so. However, the issue is politically sensitive and the administration may not touch it during an election year. A majority of Trump supporters want to protect DACA recipients, a recent poll by POLITICO/Morning Consult found. HuffPost, The Hill, POLITICO

In other federal immigration news…

The Trump administration plans to announce a policy that will deny work permits for asylum seekers who cross into the U.S. without authorization. In addition, people who do qualify will have to wait a year, as opposed to the current 150 days, to receive a work permit. The policy was initially released in November and it went through a 30-day public comment period. BuzzFeed News

Federal officials are trying to blame Latinos for the rise in coronavirus cases nationwide, according to internal emails obtained by USA Today. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and others in his agency raised the issue with DHS. “Are there any immigration patterns DHS is seeing that support the thesis that seeding could be coming from Mexicans over the border?” Azar asked. “Could we be seeing the after-effects of cinco de mayo (sic)?” Immigration officials pushed back and said that spikes in COVID-19 cases were likely due to relaxed social distancing and reopenings around the country. USA Today

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