On June 18, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected President Trump’s attempt to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The decision protects hundreds of thousands of people who came to the United States as undocumented immigrant children from deportation, prompting cheers from some Hudson County elected officials.
The DACA program, established in 2012 by the Department of Homeland Security under the Obama Administration, permits the undocumented immigrants, known as Dreamers, to remain in the U.S. under certain criteria.
In response to the decision in support of DACA, Hudson County lawmakers voiced their support for the ruling. Among those who stand by the DACA program are North Bergen Mayor and State Senator Nicholas Sacco and U.S. Senator Robert Menendez.
Sacco supports Dreamers
Sacco said that the Dreamers must be allowed to remain here in “the only country they have ever known” and should be given the opportunity to continue making contributions to society.
“I have known many young people facing this situation here in North Bergen through our schools, and the pain, stress and uncertainty they have had to deal with is heartbreaking,” Sacco said. “Hopefully, this ruling will provide them with the security they need to know that they can go to school, work, buy a home, start a family and do all the other things that make up the American Dream without fear of deportation.”
Sen. Robert Menendez, former Mayor of Union City and a staunch defender of DACA in the Senate, also applauded the Supreme Court decision.
“Today’s Supreme Court ruling upholding DACA is as much a repudiation of Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant crusade as it is justice for the thousands of Dreamers who call America home and contribute so much to our society, culture and economy,” Menendez said. “To all the Dreamers who have lived in fear since President Trump took office: I hope today’s ruling makes clear that America stands with you and that this is your home.”
Calls for permanent protections
Following the ruling, Menendez is calling for legislation to permanently protect Dreamers.
“The time has come for Congress to pass permanent protections for Dreamers,” Menendez said. “It is time for Senator Mitch McConnell to allow a vote on the American Dream and Promise Act (H.R.6), which overwhelmingly passed the House of Representatives last year, and once and for all lifts the cloud over Dreamers by providing them with a pathway to citizenship they have rightly earned.”
During the Supreme Court deliberation, Menendez joined Dreamers outside the Supreme Court on June 18. In April, Menendez called on the Trump Administration to automatically extend work permits for Dreamers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As the moral arc of history continues to bend toward justice, today’s high court ruling is just the latest chapter — but not the end — of our fight for Dreamers and immigrants,” Menendez said. “It is my sincere hope that President Trump will use this opportunity to chart a new course and to stand on the right side of history with the overwhelming majority of Americans who support Dreamers and immigrant rights, and stop using them as political pawns to advance a divisive, immoral immigration agenda.”
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