Limbo for the Dreamers

Yesterday, the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal by the Trump administration of a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision to place an injunction on Trump’s decision to halt the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program by March 5. As a result, the Ninth Circuit will continue it’s review of Trump’s claim that the decision of previous administrations to defer action on those in the program, called Dreamers, was unconstitutional. That review will certainly take a few months, maybe more. This effectively nullifies the March 5 deadline Trump imposed for ending the program entirely, a deadline he claims was meant to goad Congress into coming up with a permanent solution.

An injunction was almost certain to be imposed, given the import of the issue. Trump’s decision to ask the Supreme Court to jump into the fray was not unprecedented, but unusual, as the Supreme Court usually only bypasses the appellate court in times of foreign affairs emergencies. Clearly, the justices didn’t see this as warranting a disruption of the usual process.

While pretty much everyone expected an injunction of Trump’s original decision, and I agree that the Supreme Court had no grounds on which to disrupt the usual process, the unfortunate consequence of the Supreme Court’s decision is that Congress will now feel no immediate need to resolve this matter any time soon. By “any time soon,” I mean any time before a new deadline is imposed, if a new deadline is ever imposed. If the Ninth Circuit ultimately decides that Trump’s attempt to end the program is unconstitutional, will Congress have any motive to act? Likely, the Democrats will simply continue to accuse the Republicans of trying to kill the dreams of the Dreamers, and Republicans will  simply continue to accuse the Democrats of refusing to take illegal immigration seriously and of avoiding a permanent solution for the Dreamers. Deep in my gut, I actually think they both prefer it this way. Your government at work.

In the meantime, the lives of hundreds of thousands will remain in semi-permanent limbo.

Be Christ for all. Bring Christ to all. See Christ in all.

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