DACA UNDER AUTHORITARIAN RULE
by Dr. Juan Andrade, Jr., President
United States Hispanic Leadership Institute, Inc.
In an act of total defiance of a Supreme Court decision and orders from another federal court, the Trump administration has declared authoritarian rule … and people better pay attention. Just weeks ago, the Supreme Court ruled against Trump’s latest attempt to circumvent due process in terminating the DACA program. He just said end it because he’s the President, the law be damned. The Supreme Court’s decision restored some degree of tranquility to over 700,000 DACA recipients, whose lives, careers, and futures have been turned upside down by Trump’s unrelenting determination to deport them all. Trump has trampled all over America’s judicial system with his anti-immigration obsession. He’s turning careers into chaos and dreams into nightmares. Last Tuesday, the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a memorandum, saying that the department would take into “consideration” the court’s rulings. Consideration? The court didn’t offer suggestions. The court instructed the department to do the following: (1) reopen the program, and (2) immediately begin accepting new applications. Is that clear enough to you? Not to DHS. The memo from DHS ordered the following actions to be taken: (1) deny all pending and future initial requests for DACA, (2) reject all pending and future applications for advance parole, absent exceptional circumstances, and (3) shorten DACA renewals and work authorization to one year instead of two years as currently authorized. DHS is also considering another try at terminating the program altogether. This is utter contempt for the rule of law. It’s despicable and arrogant authoritarianism, plain and simple. Undocumented workers in the U.S. paid $20.1 billion in federal taxes and $11.8 billion in state and local taxes, in 2018. DACA recipients paid $1.7 billion in state and local taxes, also in 2018. So it’s not like they are taking anything away from anybody. If anything, they are giving more to America than they’re getting from this administration from hell. This brutal assault on honorable DACA recipients has to stop. DACA recipients deserve some level of comfort and stability. They came to the United States as children, and this is the only country they have ever known. As DACA recipients, they have earned work authorization and protection against deportation, made possible by a standing Executive Order. DACA recipients deserve to be on a path to legalization and ultimately citizenship, and shouldn’t have to endure this kind of political abuse and inhumane harassment. It’s not they who are illegal. It’s the actions of this government that are illegal.