EDITORIAL: OPINION & CARTOON
IMMIGRATION: ‘US SC ruling raises hopes of immigrants’
The United States Supreme Court’s rejection of a Trump administration petition on the so-called “Dreamers” program was a big setback for President Donald Trump. But the issue itself – what to do about 700,000 young adults facing deportation – remains undecided.
In 2012, then President Barack Obama implemented a program to help children of illegal immigrants, mostly Hispanics, who had grown up in the US and had become valuable workers in many American companies, especially in California. It was called the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
On his election, President Trump began to implement a basically anti-immigrant policy directed at nationals of majority Muslim countries in the Middle East and at Mexicans and other South Americans illegally entering via the US’ porous southern border.
He asked Congress to enact a Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act to replace Obama’s DACA program. The proposed bill gave hope to the 700,000 young people facing deportation, who came to be known as the “Dreamers” because of the DREAM bill. But Congress failed to approve the bill.
President Trump announced he would let the DACA program expire this March and then start deporting the 700,000 young people who, although illegally brought in by their since-deported parents, have never known any other country and are now at work in various US enterprises. Federal judges in San Francisco and New York, however, have issued nationwide injunctions against the administration’s plans to end the DACA aid program, while the legal issue is pending.
In its hurry to end DACA and deport the 700,000 Dreamers, the Trump administration asked the Supreme Court to stop the San Francisco federal judge’s injunction against deportation. It was this Trump petition which the Supreme Court rejected last Monday, saying Trump should not bypass the San Francisco court.
The High Court ruling was for the Trump administration to respect due process. San Francisco Judge William Alsup must be allowed to rule on the legal issue over DACA; it must not be bypassed, the process must not be short-circuited.
The Supreme Court decision has given rise to new hopes for the Dreamers and for many other Americans who believe these young people deserve to remain in the US where they are now making important economic contributions.
President Obama saw this and sought to help them with his DACA program, but President Trump has no such sympathy for them – and for immigrants in general – and now seeks to deport them. The Supreme Court ruling only told Trump to follow the legal processes and wait for the federal judge to rule.
Ultimately, the solution to the problem lies in the hands of the US Congress. It can enact a new law which, hopefully, will allow the Dreamers to remain in the US and, at the same time, enable the US to accept many other foreigners – including many Filipinos – who have much to contribute to the US. The US began as a nation of immigrants seeking a better life than the ones they had left behind in Europe and elsewhere. It can continue to benefit from the contributions of new immigrants.
7.2 US SC ruling raises hopes of immigrants – The Manila Bulletin
7.5. Who killed the ‘gentle giant’? – The Philippine Daily Inquirer
Tommy Koh – Ambassador-At-Large at Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs
VEERA PRATEEPCHAIKUL FORMER EDITOR
– The Bangkok Post