Advocates, attorneys and lawmakers expect a ruling within days or weeks on a court case that will determine the fate of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), which provides protections for more than 640,000 immigrants brought to the country illegally as children, reports Politico. Many anticipate that DACA will be ruled unlawful, given the Trump administration’s handling of the case and the presiding judge’s track record on immigration. Texas and eight other states are asking the court to end DACA, arguing that the program is unconstitutional and forces states to bear extra costs from providing DACA recipients with services like education. Supporters argue Obama acted within his executive powers to create the program and point to research documenting the program’s benefits for both young immigrants and the country. The Center for American Progress estimates that ending DACA would mean a loss of billions of dollars in GDP for the states suing to overturn it.
A ruling on the Texas case could be “a forcing event or action that makes things move at a greater speed,” said Lorella Praeli, president of Community Change Action, a progressive grassroots group. “It changes the politics, creates that sense of urgency.” Immigrant advocates say they want to see Dreamers, TPS recipients and undocumented farmworkers get legal status at the same time. Advocates are eyeing a pair of bills passed by House Democrats in 2019 — the American Dream and Promise Act and the Farm Workforce Modernization Act. They want to see them passed by mid-March, an ambitious goal as the Senate faces Trump’s impeachment again and still needs to pass a Covid relief bill, Biden’s top priority.