November 12, 2019

Today the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Trump's efforts to repeal DACA (Deferred Action On Childhood Arrivals,) which have so far been blocked by the courts. According to the Los Angeles Times,

For more than two years, Trump has been seeking to end the special protections for the Dreamers put in place by Obama, but he has been blocked by federal judges in San Francisco, New York and Washington D.C. All three said the proposed repeal was flawed because it relied on the false claim that Obama’s policy was illegal from the start.

Hallie Jackson interviewed two DACA recipients who were outside the Supreme Court as part of the protesting crowds who gathered in defense of the more than 700,000 DACA recipients and Dreamers whose lives hang in the balance of this court decision.

JACKSON: Denia Perez came to the United States when she was just 8 years old from Mexico and before becoming the first DACA beneficiary to become a licensed attorney in Connecticut last year. She's now an immigration attorney for Make The Road, New York's deportation defense team. Angelica Villalobos came to the U.S. at the age of 11 is also with us. She runs a language translation service, and her family's auto repair business in Oklahoma with her husband. He is also a DACA recipient, she's a mom of five, and all of them are U.S. citizens between the ages of 19 and 20 months old. Perez and Angelica, thank you for being with us. I know it's loud where you are, so forgive me if I have a repeat a question or two, but Angelica, can you talk a little bit over the uncertainty over the last couple of years with the Trump administration's push to do away with these protections?

VILLALOBOS: Yeah, I think that in the last couple of years the reality of us, you know, getting separated from our family has become a lot more real. It is difficult for us, especially people in my situation, where they have children who depend on you to be having to stress about this situation right now.

JACKSON: I bet. We can hear how loud it is behind you. The protesters that are out there with both of you. Denia, part of your job is about advocating for immigrants who are facing deportation here. What is this court decision that may come in June, what does it mean to you and to your clients?

PEREZ: I mean, it's critical, I think, that there's so much hanging on what the justice system decides today, not just for me personally, and the over 800,000 daca recipients, like myself, but as you mentioned, my clients, I think if the justices decide in our favor it's going to be a sign that people like myself and my clients should be allowed to be here, that there should be a pathway to citizenship and that we are in the right to continue to contribute to the country that we call home.

JACKSON: Angelica, that is an if, of course. If the court decides essentially in your favor. If they do not -- listen, you're a mom, you have kids. Have you thought about a backup plan? What do you do in the event this doesn't go your way?

VILLALOBOS: I actually have thought of this since the beginning when they first ended daca a couple of years ago, where we had to talk to my oldest daughter, you know, like if this happens, you might become the legal guardian of your siblings, right. It's not something that you as a parent would talk to a 19-year-old now and say this is becoming so real and you might have to stop your dreams and your goals, because now you're being forced into this. So they definitely have a backup plan, but it's not something that I would like to use. I am relying on the government to do the right thing here and stand with us.

Imagine telling your 19-year-old that they need to be prepared to suddenly become not only self-sufficient, but guardian to their four siblings, the youngest 20 months old. Imagine the reason for that being the head of the country doesn't want your parents there for the most racist, vile reasons, based entirely on lies. Imagine, as the LA Times reports, the outcome of this case appears to rely upon the legal and moral sensibilities of one conservative white man: John Roberts.

Home. Is. Here.

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