In September 2017, Trump unilaterally announced he would end DACA in March, and by January, Democratic legislators were threatening to force a government shutdown if the decision wasn’t reversed with Dreamer protections reinstated.
Now, with Trump’s original DACA deadline having passed as lower federal courts review the legality of his decision, federal lawmakers have largely shifted their focus from Dreamers to guns in schools. The Trump administration continues to ramp up its immigration enforcement efforts, both in communities across the country and in the courtroom, where Attorney General Jeff Sessions is currently suing California over state “sanctuary” laws intended to protect undocumented residents.
Combined, the last two months have demonstrated that the Trump administration has no intention of slowing its racially charged anti-immigration goals, most recently prompting a number of liberals to adopt long standing calls to disband the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency altogether.
To break down those recent developments, we’ve compiled deep dives from around the web to keep you informed on DACA’s uncertain future, Sessions’ lawsuits against the Golden State, and why the abolition of ICE is necessary for true immigration reform. With a congressional budget still being debated, Democratic lawmakers repeatedly threatened to cause a government shutdown if DACA was not reinstated, while Trump and Republicans would only budge on the deal if Dems agreed to billions of dollars in funding for the president’s long-promised southern border wall.
Since then, two federal court injunctions have temporarily halted the president’s decision and suspended Trump’s proposed March deadline for DACA’s termination, but in doing so, have pulled congressional attention away from Dreamers, creating a legal purgatory for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants who are still waiting for concrete legislative solutions or further action from federal courts. Npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/01/10/576963434/federal-judge-temporarily-blocks-trumps-decision-to-end-daca” target=” blank”>the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it would not be interceding in the case concerning Trump’s DACA decision, deferring any final decision until it can be tried in a lower court, or is resolved by legislators – a path that is looking less likely now that lawmakers’ attention has shifted away from immigration and towards gun reform in the wake of February’s deadly Parkland, Florida school shooting. “
So while current recipients are still allowed to apply for DACA renewal, the federal government is under no obligation to accept any of those requests, and has not slowed down its ultimate goal of instilling fear in the lives of Dreamers and undocumented immigrants across America.
However, even with California politicians and immigration advocates quick to refer to the Golden State as a “sanctuary” for immigrants, regardless of their documentation status, the state’s laws cannot ultimately stop federal enforcement efforts. So while California cops have denied ICE any aid in locating or rounding up undocumented immigrants, that hasn’t stopped the federal cops from performing their own raids. As noted by Lind, California’s local ICE-blocking initiatives have only angered Sessions and the immigration cops, leading to the AG’s very public lawsuits and an increase in highly visible immigration raids.
Sean McElwee for The Nation
As the racist, nationalist authoritarianism of the Trump administration’s immigration policy has emerged as a sticking point in the constantly circling carousel of 24-hour news cycles, “Instead of making our communities safer, ICE has taught immigrants to fear and distrust law enforcement,” said Jessica Ramos, a state Senate candidate in Queens, New York, one of the country’s most diverse communities, to The Nation. “It’s absolutely time to defund the agency and start working on real, common-sense immigration reform.