This Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in a case brought over the Trump administration trying to cancel the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, otherwise known as DACA, which is meant to protect undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as kids. As President Donald Trump railed on Twitter with lies about DACA recipients harboring criminals, protesters gathered outside the Supreme Court building to show their passionate support for immigrant populations. Supporting basic human rights should not be a partisan issue according to most conventional understandings, but the Trump administration has proven the need to not take that for granted.
Chants that the D.C. protesters shouted included:
‘Up, up with liberation. Down, down with deportation.’
‘Hey hey, ho ho, Donald Trump has got to go!’
When oral arguments in the case concluded, those who’d been inside listening walked down the Supreme Court building steps with arms interlocked and chanted:
‘Home is here!’
Check out some video coverage:
— Jazmine Ulloa (@jazmineulloa) November 12, 2019
Immigrant youth marched on the Supreme Court this morning to defend DACA from the Trump administration pic.twitter.com/BZHRjnAf5T
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) November 12, 2019
‼️ HAPPENING NOW ‼️ Organizers, immigrant leaders, and allies just arrived at the Supreme Court of the United States in support of #DACA recipients and our immigrant community. #HomeIsHere #HereToStay pic.twitter.com/HBWyz9fdFa
— United We Dream (@UNITEDWEDREAM) November 12, 2019
A rally outside the Supreme Court was organized by the “Home is Here” group, which describes themselves as “a coalition fighting to protect DACA recipients, their families, and all immigrant communities at the U.S. Supreme Court.” As they note, DACA beneficiaries are integrated into American society at this point: on average, someone benefiting from the program has been in the country for twenty years, and overall together with their households, they contribute some $8.8 billion in tax dollars every year, including $5.7 billion in federal taxes and $3.1 billion in state and local taxes. A full 1.5 million people share a home with a DACA beneficiary, the organization also notes.
In other words, attempting to remove DACA beneficiaries from the countries would tear U.S. families apart, no matter how many of them were temporarily allowed to stay in the country.
Democratic leaders like presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) along with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) spoke out in support of the demonstrators. Pelosi herself even visited the scene of the protests at one point on Tuesday morning.
Warren wrote on Twitter:
‘Thank you to all of the brave protesters who showed up and raised their voices outside of the Supreme Court this morning. #HomeIsHere, and we’ll keep fighting for DACA recipients all the way.’
Thank you to all of the brave protesters who showed up and raised their voices outside of the Supreme Court this morning. #HomeIsHere, and we’ll keep fighting for DACA recipients all the way. https://t.co/U3izWE9nNg
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) November 12, 2019
The president has claimed that in the absence of DACA, his administration will seek some kind of solution to issues in the program’s recipients’ ensuing situations rather than resorting to deporting them — but this is the same administration that decided punitively separating families was an acceptable “deterrent” against future asylum seekers.
Just this Tuesday morning, Trump lied about DACA recipients, who are not allowed to have a serious criminal record and remain in the program. Yet, he tweeted anyway:
‘Many of the people in DACA, no longer very young, are far from “angels.” Some are very tough, hardened criminals. President Obama said he had no legal right to sign order, but would anyway. If Supreme Court remedies with overturn, a deal will be made with Dems for them to stay!’
That’s simply not true. He’s putting the livelihoods of large numbers of people at risk just because of his ego.