A ray of hope appeared yesterday for millions of undocumented youths and adults when the Supreme Court accepted to evaluate President Obama’s DACA and DAPA executive actions on immigration. The Court’s decision reopens the legal case and places at the center of the presidential campaign the situation of those who have established roots in this country despite not having papers.
This is the best news for the children of undocumented people who were brought into the U.S. as minors and for parents of U.S. citizens. President Barack Obama’s move to incorporate them into society instead of deporting them became necessary after the House of Representatives rejected any kind of comprehensive immigration reform containing a path to regularization. Led by Texas, several states sued the U.S. Government, claiming that Obama’s actions were an abuse of executive power, a refusal to enforce the law and that they would cost the states money.
A federal judge and the Fifth Court of Appeals blocked Obama’s orders, and the deliberate delay both of the state of Texas and of judges of appeal rendered the actions fatally wounded. Until yesterday, that is.
It is estimated that a final verdict on DACA and DAPA will be reached in June or July, placing a hot potato in the middle of the presidential election’s playing field. A favorable decision would put whoever ends up being the Republican candidate in an awkward position, as all contenders have listed striking down the executive orders at the top of their priorities. Regardless of the decision, the case will rouse voters in favor and against immigration.
It is unfortunate that the fate of nearly 5 million beneficiaries depends on an executive order that could be changed by the next president. It is unfair to have the lives of honest people who have contributed to the country with their labor for years hanging by a thread. Still, even this precarious state would signify an improvement in the lives of undocumented people, who have been turned into the political scapegoat of the country’s frustrations.