BY: Andrea Sears, Public News Service
NEW YORK – Today, undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children will be joined by community leaders and allies as they begin a 230 mile “Home is Here” march to Washington D.C.
The march is being timed to arrive in the nation’s capital on the day the Supreme Court hears arguments in a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.
The program was instituted in 2012 and allows immigrants who were 16 or younger when they were brought to the United States to go to school and to work without fear of deportation.
Antonio Alarcon – who works as the census coordinator at the progressive, immigrant-led group Make the Road – is a plaintiff in the case. He points out that for many DACA recipients, this country has been their home since they were very young.
“This is the place that we grew up, the place where we have friends, the place where we work,” says Alarcon.
There are approximately 700,000 people enrolled in DACA. The Supreme Court is expected to issue a ruling by June of next year.
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit argue that the Trump administration’s action to terminate the DACA program is arbitrary and capricious and that President Barack Obama had the authority to authorize the program.
“This is not the first time that a president used their executive powers to give protection to folks, so there shouldn’t be any legal concerns in terms of the validity of the DACA program,” says Alarcon.
He says lower federal courts have ruled the termination of DACA is unlawful and have issued injunctions allowing DACA recipients to renew their status.
Alarcon notes that other courts are expected to rule soon on more immigration issues, including the Trump administration’s termination of Temporary Protected Status for some 300,000 immigrants.
“This is just the beginning, and regardless of what happens at the Supreme Court, we will continue to fight for justice for the 11 million undocumented folks,” says Alarcon.