WASHINGTON (WJZ) — The U.S. Supreme Court began hearing arguments Tuesday on the Trump administration’s attempt to shut down the Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals program that has protected more than 700,000 people brought to the country illegally as children from deportation.
Protesters gathered outside the Supreme Court as justices heard arguments in the case, which has left hundreds of thousands of DREAMers’ lives hanging in the balance, including a man who calls Baltimore his home.
“I came here at a young age because my parents made a decision to provide a better life for my family, my brother, my sister,” DREAMer Misael Garcia said.
Garcia was born in Mexico but moved to Maryland with his family when he was 12 years old. He said he’s “proud” to live in Baltimore.
Then-President Barack Obama created DACA by executive action but never got approval from Congress. President Donald Trump called the move illegal and two years ago ordered its end.
Lower courts have blocked the president and his administration’s efforts to end DACA; now the Supreme Court must decide the DREAMers’ fates.
The court is expected to make a decision by June.
Tuesday morning, Trump weighed in about DACA on Twitter.
“Many of the people in DACA, no longer very young, are far from ‘angels,'” Trump tweeted. “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!”
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 12, 2019
Information from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, however, says DACA recipients cannot be convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor or three or more other misdemeanors.
DACA recipients must have been under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012, and come to the U.S. prior to their 16th birthday, according to immigration officials.
Back outside the Supreme Court, DREAMers chanted “Our home is here!” and “Citizenship for who? Citizenship for all!”
“We want you to see us as the true Americans that we are,” DREAMer Vicente Rodriguez said.