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The House DACA decision and U.S. Census question
Photo courtesy: The Library of Congress/ Highsmith, Carol M.

By Joseph Rios

Currently, there are around 800,000 people in the United States who are Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients. The policy allows undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country as children to receive a renewable two-year period to not be deported and to become eligible to obtain a work permit. It stems from the Obama administration.

Last week, the House of Representatives passed a bill to extend DACA, but it’s unlikely it will ever reach the president. The bill passed 237 to 187 and included a vote of approval from seven Republicans. If implemented, it will give around 2.5 million immigrants a pathway toward citizenship.

Republican Representative from Alabama, Mike Rodgers, said the bill would not address the immigration crisis and would create a generation of immigrants to break laws and be rewarded. Representative Nydia M. Velazquez, a Democrat from New York, said the bill would send a message to the world that immigrants make America.

President Donald Trump has worked to abolish the program, despite his actions being blocked by lower courts. Attorney General William Barr said lower courts blocking Trump have caused “nationwide injunctions” that have “frustrated presidential policy for most of the President’s term.” Trump will veto the bill, and in an event that can shape the 2020 election, the Supreme Court will meet on Thursday to talk about whether it should take up a case to phase out DACA.

If the court were to take up the case, then it would make a decision right when the 2020 presidential campaigns are in full-swing, and if it passes, it would open the door for hundreds of thousands of people to be deported.

In 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Trump administration would move to dismantle DACA. Toward the end of 2018, the Justice Department asked the Supreme Court to take up the case.

Currently, the majority of DACA beneficiaries are still protected, because of injunctions from numerous courts across the country.

The court has other things to handle in regards to the Trump administration, too. By the end of June, it needs to decide whether there can be a question on the 2020 U.S. Census questionnaire that asks about citizenship for every person in the country. That question hasn’t been on a U.S. Census questionnaire since 1950.

One judge said Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross ignored evidence that shows the question would decrease participation in the U.S. Census questionnaire among undocumented immigrants and Hispanics.





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