The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday ruled President Donald Trump’s administration could not immediately end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Statements on the ruling are below.
Democratic congressional candidate Amy Kennedy
“Today we celebrate the Supreme Court’s decision and the future of our Dreamers. The Trump administration has been relentlessly attacking the immigrant community for years, and our Dreamers have been living in constant fear. This decision is a symbol of the values of our nation to uplift our immigrant communities and protect their place in the U.S. It also makes clear that we are a nation of laws, which President Trump has time and again broken in his relentless efforts to tear our communities apart. Now it’s time to finally pass the Dream and Promise Act to permanently protect Dreamers. I’m committed to continuing to fight for the protections our immigrant community needs and to uphold the ideals that this nation was founded on.”
ACLU-NJ Executive Director Amol Sinha
“Dreamers belong here, and today’s decision recognizes that the Trump administration cannot simply erase that fact through an executive order. We urge the presidential administration to protect the DACA program and those most affected by it. We urge Congress to immediately pass the American Dream and Promise Act so that Dreamers’ futures do not depend on the whims of this administration or any other.
“At a time when our federal government’s immigration policies are driven by cruelty, New Jersey has the opportunity to lead with justice and fairness. We call on state lawmakers to pass legislation to provide economic relief to those bearing the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic, who were excluded from state and federal stimulus funding simply because of immigration status. We also call on the New Jersey Legislature to pass a bill to make professional licenses available to all New Jerseyans, regardless of immigration status.”
Rep. Bill Pascrell
“This beautiful decision, at long last, halts Trump’s cruelty and removes the cloud of fear and uncertainty placed above the heads of our Dreamers. If not for this decision, thousands of bright New Jerseyans faced expulsion from this country through no fault of their own. This ruling should not have been this close and should not have taken this long. For years, we have banged our hands on the table demanding permanent relief to Dreamers only to be stymied by Donald Trump and Republicans. Rooted in the kindness and charity of the American ideal, today’s holding prevents Trump from gutting the promise we made to these young people and allows them to stay in the only country they’ve ever known. The Senate must now pass the DREAM ACT ratified by the House over a year ago. Our Dreamers have waited long enough.”
Democratic congressional candidate Brigid Callahan Harrison
“In the midst of unprecedented national crises, the Supreme Court has reminded us that the foundational principles are our most powerful ally in addressing conflict, division, and ensuring fairness for all. Today, our Supreme Court rejected Donald Trump, his administration of hate, and have rightfully protected over 650,000 young immigrants who want nothing more that to be part of our great country. As a mother of a child who is an immigrant, I am so happy with today’s ruling. The decision now provides Congress with the opportunity to pass the Dream and Promise Act to permanently protect Dreamers. In pledging his undying support to President Trump, Jeff Van Drew rejected loyalty to our foundational principles, violated his oath to support and defend the constitution, and enjoined with the Trump administration’s strategy of fomenting division in our nation. Today the Supreme Court rejected Trump’s tactic, and we ask the people of South Jersey to reject it as well in November by telling Van Drew that hate has no place in South Jersey.”
Gov. Phil Murphy
“The Supreme Court has correctly ruled that the Trump Administration’s decision to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program – or DACA – was unlawful. We applaud the Court’s ruling to protect the more than 16,000 Dreamers who call New Jersey home, and who are among the more than 800,000 Dreamers across our country who are just as American as any child born here.
As our state continues to face unprecedented challenges in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, our Dreamers are directly contributing to our communities — as students, entrepreneurs, taxpayers, employees, job creators, and front line workers. We celebrate their contributions and remain committed to supporting them and their families.
Across the past two years, we have taken significant steps to empower our immigrant communities and ensure their place in a stronger, fairer and more inclusive New Jersey. We have removed barriers to financial aid that held Dreamers back from pursuing a higher education, and we are working on implementing driver’s licenses for all residents regardless of immigration status. Through our Office of New Americans in the New Jersey Department of Human Services, we will continue providing information and resources to Dreamers and their families regarding DACA renewals and work permits, among other services.
With this ruling, and especially during this public health emergency, we call on our federal partners in the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to extend DACA renewals and work permits. And, we call on the Trump Administration to open up the process to accept new DACA applications, and we urge Congress to work together on a permanent solution and a path to citizenship for all Dreamers and their families. I am proud of the work of Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, and his team, in leading New Jersey’s efforts in support of this successful outcome. Our Dreamers are a strong part of our New Jersey family, and today’s decision will help ensure that they can be part of the next generation of Americans who will lead our state and our nation.”
State Sen. Teresa Ruiz
“Finally, with the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the Trump Administration’s attempt to end DACA, the 16,480 DACAmented youth in New Jersey can breathe easier. For dreamers, the United States is their home, they have never known anywhere else. Many are business owners, homeowners, and healthcare workers on the frontlines fighting COVID-19.
Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson
“We applaud today’s ruling that protects more than 16,000 New Jerseyans who contribute to New Jersey communities daily as business owners, taxpayers, neighbors, friends, students and workers, including many who serve as front-line workers in our fight against COVID-19.
“This is a win for America. This is a win for what’s right. This is a win for immigrants brought to our country as children who are as American as anybody else’s children.
“The Murphy Administration remains committed to supporting DREAMers and their families, and will continue to build a more inclusive New Jersey for everyone. This includes providing information and resources to DREAMers and their families, and working to help them thrive. DREAMers are part of our big and wonderful New Jersey family, and we succeed only when all of us succeed. We back the Governor’s call for the federal government to extend DACA renewals and work permits, and open up the process to accept new DACA applications – and Human Services’ Office of New Americans is ready to help.
“We hail this decision, but we also now hope the Trump Administration will work together with Congress to find a permanent solution for DREAMers and their families.”
U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez
“Today’s Supreme Court ruling upholding DACA is as much a repudiation of Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant crusade as it is justice for the thousands of Dreamers who call America home and contribute so much to our society, culture and economy. To all the Dreamers who have lived in fear since President Trump took office: I hope today’s ruling makes clear that America stands with you and that this is your home
“The time has come for Congress to pass permanent protections for Dreamers. It is time for Senator Mitch McConnell to allow a vote on the American Dream and Promise Act (H.R.6), which overwhelmingly passed the House of Representatives last year, and once and for all lifts the cloud over Dreamers by providing them with a pathway to citizenship they have rightly earned.
“As the moral arc of history continues to bend towards justice, today’s high court ruling is just the latest chapter — but not the end — of our fight for Dreamers and immigrants. It is my sincere hope that President Trump will use this opportunity to chart a new course and to stand on the right side of history with the overwhelming majority of Americans who support Dreamers and immigrant rights, and stop using them as political pawns to advance a divisive, immoral immigration agenda.”
Make the Road New Jersey organizer Deyanira Aldana
“Today the Supreme Court sided with justice for immigrant young people all over the country. This is a victory delivered by decades of organizing led by Dreamers and their families. As a DACA recipient, I join the 53,000 DACA eligible youth in New Jersey in breathing a sigh of relief. Our organizing work, our relentless determination that our home is here, has paid off.
And our fight continues. The Trump administration may attempt to end the DACA program again. And DACA is only a temporary protection. We call upon Congress to create a pathway to citizens for all immigrants and to immediately cease deportations. New Jersey too can stand up for DACA recipients at this moment by passing the New Jersey is Our Home platform to ensure Dreamers can continue to thrive in our state.”
Camden County Freeholder Carmen Rodriguez
“The Freeholder Board applauds the Supreme Court’s decision to reject the Trump Administration’s attempt to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA). The president’s unlawful attack on this program put in jeopardy the lives of thousands of DACA recipients in Camden County and throughout New Jersey, and we are glad to see their livelihoods protected, at least for the time being.
These young men and women were brought to this country by their parents so that they could achieve a better life. They have known no other home and they are as American as anyone who was born in this country. We should be focused on ways to empower this community, to give them peace of mind and security that they can live in the country they grew up in without fear of persecution or deportation. We should not be using them to as pawns in a political chess match, or worse, rejecting their status in this country out of prejudice, as this president has done.
Today’s decision affirms what we already knew, the administration’s attempt to terminate DACA had no legitimate justification, and it was made only to inject chaos into the lives of those affected and to improve the president’s poll numbers among his supporters.
To be clear, this is not a mission accomplished. The Supreme Court’s decision does not validate or invalidate the law itself, but is merely a rejection of the administration’s attempt to terminate it based on the reasons they offered at the time. There will be more attacks on this law and on these brave young people. We must continue to stand by them and fight for what is right as we have done in the past, and as we will continue to do in the future.”
Rep. Albio Sires
This Supreme Court decision to protect the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is a victory in our fight for humane immigration policy and a moment of justice for Dreamers and the entire nation. As the Court said, the Trump Administration’s effort to rescind DACA was ‘arbitrary and capricious’ all along.
“During my time in Congress, I have had the privilege to engage directly with dozens of Dreamers and hear their stories. Dreamers enrich our communities and are a key part of the social fabric of this country. I am thrilled that the Supreme Court’s decision will provide temporary relief for more than 800,000 Dreamers. But now more than ever, Congress must take legislative action to protect Dreamers. As a cosponsor of the Dream and Promise Act, I call on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring it to the Senate Floor for a vote so that we can legislate a pathway to citizenship for those who are American in every way except on paper. I will continue fighting for our Dreamers until they can finally be certain that they are here to stay.”
New Jersey Policy Perspective Policy Analyst Vineeta Kapahi
“Today’s decision is great news not only for Dreamers and their families, but also the entire Garden State. New Jersey is home to approximately 16,000 DACA recipients, who play an integral role in our communities and local economies. The protections in DACA allow these young immigrants to pursue higher education and professional training opportunities, providing them — and the state — with a strong foundation for future success. Each year, DACA recipients in New Jersey contribute $205 million in federal taxes and 105 million in state and local taxes. More importantly, Dreamers make immeasurable contributions to the social fabric of the state; they are our neighbors, family members, friends, classmates, coaches, businesses owners, community leaders, and so much more.
“While today’s Supreme Court decision provides temporary relief to many New Jersey residents, there is much more to be done, both by the federal government and here at home. State lawmakers should not have to wait for the Supreme Court or Congress to act. The Legislature can immediately support immigrant communities by removing immigration-related barriers to leading a healthy life in New Jersey. This can be accomplished by expanding eligibility for professional licensing, fully funding universal representation, and including immigrants in pandemic relief efforts. Promoting the ability of immigrants to live and work in New Jersey without risk of deportation will benefit all residents as we overcome the current crisis together.”
New Jersey Latino Legislative Caucus
“Community groups, legislators, advocates and non-governmental organizations have been battling this administration for over three years. Today, we got a decisive victory. The more than 800 thousand dreamers across this nation, 16 thousand in New Jersey alone, can sleep a little sounder tonight. Thank you to everyone involved that has made this win possible.
“Today’s ruling does not, however, mean this fight is over. It does not make DACA permanent, but it does mean the program is saved at least through the upcoming elections. This therefore makes it even more important – if that is possible – to register and vote.
“We have made a lot of progress in New Jersey in recent years and if we want to continue along this path, every one of us must take personal responsibility to get our neighbors, family members and loved ones to fill out both a ballot and the 2020 census. Our voices must be counted before they can be heard.”