House and Senate Democrats Look to Legislation as Supreme Court Deliberates DACA

By Masooma Haq
Masooma Haq
Masooma Haq
November 12, 2019 Updated: November 12, 2019

The Supreme Court is deliberating on the DACA case as the Trump administration calls for an end to the program and Democrats in Congress call for protection for the thousands of undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children.

The Democrats have said that no matter what decision the Supreme Court passes on DACA, they will continue to fight for the right of undocumented immigrants to stay in the United States and have a pathway to citizenship.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi wrote on Twitter, “Dreamers make America more American. House and Senate Democrats come together to all on Leader McConnell to #ProtectTheDream and pass H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act.”

Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) said of DACA, “Regardless of how the Supreme Court rules, Dreamers need and deserve permanent protection. They are American in every way except a piece of paper, which is why I strongly urge the Senate to take up the American Dream and Promise Act.”

The House and Senate Democrats, including Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chair Joaquin Castro, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, joined plaintiffs in the DACA case at a press conference at the Capitol to call on the Trump Administration to reverse their termination of DACA. They also called on the Republican-controlled Senate to pass H.R. 6, the Dream and Promise Act.

American Dream and Promise Act of 2019 was passed in the House in June, and if it made a law “cancels and prohibits removal proceedings against certain aliens and provides such aliens with a path toward permanent resident status.”

“The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or the Department of Justice (DOJ) shall cancel removal proceedings against certain aliens who entered the United States as minors and grant such aliens conditional permanent residence status for 10 years. The bill imposes various qualification requirements, such as the alien being continuously physically present in the United States and being enrolled in or having completed certain educational programs.”

Nancy Pelosi, while speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, urged the Supreme Court to vote in favor of the DREAMers: “On this day that should be a very hopeful one for our country. The Supreme Court of the United States will make a decision to either cause pain or find a solution by upholding what we think is the right thing to do.”

“Just to put it in perspective, President Reagan … when he was president, after the Congress passed the comprehensive immigration bill of 1986, he said to Congress, ‘you didn’t go far enough’ and he instituted family fairness, which protected a higher percentage of people and newcomers to our country than the President Obama’s DACA order,” she continued.

“We urge the court to support the lower court’s decisions on this. We urged the court to do that and as Justice Sotomayor talked about this morning about how much pain would they cause and the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in our country. This is an important day and we hope and pray that the courts will do the right thing, the all-American thing.”

She then invited all of her fellow Democrats to walk with her to deliver H.R. 6 to Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell.

“We are going over to the senate. I invite my colleagues to join me as we go over to the senate to bring our Leader McConnell H.R. 6 which of course is a remedy for our dreamers and are temporary protected status newcomers to relatively newcomers to our country.”

President Trump wrote on Twitter on Nov. 12, “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!”

The court ruling will reportedly affect about 700,000 immigrants, mainly from Mexico and Central America.

Trump previously attempted to rescind the program just months after he took office, but the lower courts blocked his action, leading to the current Supreme Court battle. Those courts said that Trump’s move to rescind DACA was possibly “arbitrary and capricious” and violated a U.S. law known as the Administrative Procedure Act.

Masooma Haq
Masooma Haq