HARTFORD, CT — A court order suspended the deportation of undocumented immigrants brought to the country as infants and children, but legislation that protects Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients remains in legislative limbo.
In September 2017, President Donald Trump announced the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also known as DACA, which protects nearly 700,000 youth from deportation. The program’s expiration date was Monday, May 5.
Two federal court rulings provided temporary relief for the recipients of DACA protections, also known as “Dreamers,” but no clarity regarding their future. An estimated 1,200 individuals per day will fall out of compliance and could be subject to deportation if the appeals court overturns the injunction.
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal rallied alongside Connecticut’s Dreamers on Monday at a Legislative Office Building press conference to call for immediate Congressional action.
“I am determined to fight for the Dreamers. I am determined to seek a compromise that will give them permanent status and a path to citizenship in this country for the sake of all Americans,” Blumenthal said. “The failure of Congress to do so in the past is a disgrace to our nation and we can make it right only if we take action now.”
The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case on an expedited basis, which means it will have to go through the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in California, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in New York.
The federal court rulings mean the case will proceed through regular channels and will keep the legal status of Dreamers in limbo.
“The court’s decision [has] created a false sense of security and complacency,” Blumenthal said. “The injunctions from the District courts of California and New York seem to assure some sense of permanence, but they can be overruled and reversed at any moment by the Courts of Appeals. The Supreme Court of the United States refused to hear these cases on an expedited basis, which leaves those orders in play.”
Connecticut’s Dreamers joined Blumenthal to advocate for immediate action to bring an end to the legislative limbo. Dreamers and their supporters shared their anxiety of deportation.
Alan Dornan, a Wethersfield resident who supports the Dreamers, said they “are productive members of our society. If they are deported, they will be separated from their families and return to a country they have never known and sometimes with a language they do not speak.”
Dreamers across the country are asking Congress to act.
“Enough is enough,” Camila Bortolleto of Connecticut Students for a Dream, said.
Blumenthal hoped Monday’s deadline would create a greater sense of urgency.
However, the court orders seem to have given Congress the ability to delay taking action.
“There is a continuing sense among us in the Senate, on the Democratic side, that we have an even more urgent obligation now that March 5 has arrived to assure permanent status and a path to citizenship.” Blumenthal said.