US Democrats urge Senate to revive DACA following court ruling

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats hail ruling and promise to continue the struggle on Dreamers’ behalf.

Speaker Pelosi wants to use the Supreme Court ruling to revive legislation to give a path to citizenship to undocumented immigrants [File: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters]

United States’ House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday urged the Senate to take up legislation previously passed by the Democratic-led House in support of so-called “Dreamers” now that the Supreme Court has blocked President Donald Trump’s effort to end their protections.

In an interview on MSNBC on Thursday, Pelosi said she hoped the top court’s ruling, which blocked Trump’s bid to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme, would move the Republican-led Senate to act. “Hopefully, this decision will give them some courage,” she said.

Her comments came after the Supreme Court blocked the Trump administration from ending a programme started in 2012 under the administration of President Barack Obama that shields about 650,000 young undocumented immigrants from deportation, upending a key feature of President Trump’s immigration agenda.

Pelosi and other Democrats in Congress, along with business leaders, hailed the ruling and promised to continue the struggle on behalf of Dreamers.

‘Tears of joy’

US Chamber of Commerce CEO Thomas Donohue called the ruling “the right decision for Dreamers, our economy, and our country”, adding that removing DACA recipients “would deny our country talent, future leaders, and an essential piece of the American workforce including teachers, nurses, doctors, farmers, and entrepreneurs”.

Speaking on the floor of the US Senate, Minority Leader Charles Schumer was nearly overcome with emotion. “I cried tears of joy” when I learned of the ruling, Schumer said.

“Wow,” he went on, choking up. “These kids, these families, I feel for them, and I think all of America does.”

Former Vice President Joe Biden promised to make the DACA programme permanent on “day one” if he is elected president.

“For over eight years, DACA has given hundreds of thousands of young immigrants who came to this country as children the chance to contribute to the country they know as home. And with that opportunity, they have shown the incredible capacity of the immigrant spirit,” Biden said in a statement.

Biden said he would “continue to stand with DACA recipients, their parents, and their families at every step, and in November, joined by millions across this country, we will reject the President who tried to rip so many of our family members, friends, and coworkers out of our lives”.

Biden’s former boss also chimed in on Twitter, saying he was happy for the Dreamers and their families.

“We may look different and come from everywhere, but what makes us American are our shared ideals and now to stand up for those ideals, we have to move forward and elect @JoeBiden and a Democratic Congress that does its job, protects DREAMers, and finally creates a system that’s truly worthy of this nation of immigrants once and for all,” Obama said.

Republicans, including President Trump, were less charitable about the outcome, however, expressing dismay that Chief Justice John Roberts – appointed by former Republican President George W Bush – joined the four more liberal judges in the majority ruling.

US Senator Marco Rubio told reporters that the Supreme Court seems intent on legislating and that some justices seem to be adopting the role of “activists” and that the trend was “concerning”.

Republican Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas also focused his wrath on Roberts.

“Yet John Roberts again postures as a Solomon who will save our institutions from political controversy and accountability. If the Chief Justice believes his political judgment is so exquisite, I invite him to resign, travel to Iowa, and get elected,” Cotton said in a statement.

After initially attacking the DACA ruling and another earlier this week that extended legal protections to LGBT workers as “shotgun blasts into the face of people that are proud to call themselves Republicans or Conservatives”, Trump tweeted that the would “start the process all over again”.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies

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