On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) case. The Obama-era federal program that has allowed over 700,000 undocumented immigrants to avoid deportation, was rolled back by the Trump administration. The initiative allows children of undocumented immigrants who’ve arrived in the US when at a very young age, to remain in the country.
The current administration says the program which was enforced through executive order was illegal and therefore ought to be rolled back. Ted Olson, the Washington DC lawyer defending DACA in court has responded that the administration, does not want to “take responsibility for it. Instead of saying, ‘We want to eliminate DACA because we don’t like the program, because we want to send a message,’ they didn’t want any of those things.”
The decision by the Trump administration prompted a public outcry by immigration rights activists, educational institutions, and business leaders. Microsoft was one of the companies which filed a lawsuit against Trump’s decision to end the program, it said in the court documents that more than 60 DACA recipients are employed in the company.
“These young people contribute to our company and serve our customers. They help create our products, secure our services, and manage our finances,” it said in the lawsuit. According to official figures, more than 90 percent of DACA recipients are employed and around half are in school. Majority of them are from Mexico and Central America, however they’ve never been to their parents’ home countries.
Many DACA recipients will be at the hearings on Tuesday. Claudia Quiñez from Maryland says she came to the US with her mother at age 11. “DACA truly changed my life. I have a Social Security number. I have the ability to work, to contribute, and pay taxes,” she said. Quiñez is one among thousands of DACA recipients whose residence in the US is on the line and will be nervously watching the hearings on Tuesday.