Luis Otero, 22, learned that he was undocumented in the United States when he told his father that he wanted to go to university. He had arrived from Mexico with less than two years. The program known as DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), launched by former President Barack Obama in 2012, allowed him to fulfill his wishes. She graduated from George Washington University with a business degree and is now pursuing a master's degree and landed her first job at a consulting firm just before the coronavirus pandemic plunged the country into a crisis. However, the end of DACA destabilized his life. In recent weeks, he confesses, he was very nervous about the Supreme Court's decision regarding the measure. "It put me in the worst case scenario, which was to be deported immediately," he says by phone. But the highest judicial body ruled this Thursday in his favor and that of hundreds of thousands of other dreamers (dreamers).
By five votes in favor and four against, the Supreme Court rejected on Thursday the “arbitrary and capricious” decision of President Trump to eliminate DACA – from which nearly 700,000 undocumented immigrants who arrived in the country as children – have benefited in September of 2017. 90% of them work; nearly a third are essential employees during the pandemic. The young people consulted by this newspaper were frightened while waiting for the decision of the judicial body because, being a conservative majority, it had been passing sentences that favored the anti-immigration policies of the current Administration. But they also agree that Monday's ruling in favor of banning discrimination at work based on sexual orientation or gender identity had given them hope as a historic step forward for minorities.
Otero is especially grateful to the president of the Supreme Court, the conservative John Roberts, who voted the same as the progressive bloc. “He had the wisdom to see through the president's negative rhetoric and realize that he had done everything in a capricious way and without accurately measuring how he was going to impact the lives of far more than 700,000 dreamers”Says the young man who arrived from Mexico before reaching the age of two. If the Supreme Court's decision was negative, but he was not deported immediately, Otero believed that he would be expelled from the country when his work permit expired in 2022 – which he must renew every two years. Democrat Joe Biden promised that if he defeats Trump in the November presidential election, he will send a bill to Congress on the first day of his term so that the peace of mind that they will not be deported is "permanent."
The dreamer Daniela Ramírez, 20, still cannot celebrate the Supreme decision. He is outside a church in a Georgia county voluntarily testing for coronavirus. The political science student in Washington moved where her family lives to the south of the country when the pandemic began. “I wanted to do something for my community. Furthermore, covid-19 is also a political issue, ”he points out, arguing that the most affected have been African-Americans and Latinos, who due to economic necessity cannot practice confinement. "Although the court's decision does not solve all of our problems, it is a good first step for our future," he adds.
The young woman born in Mexico came to the United States at the age of four, accompanied by her grandmother and her cousin, with a coyote — as immigrant traffickers are called. His mother had already emigrated a year before and his father would do the same afterwards. Without knowing a word of English, Daniela suffered a lot in the early kindergarten years, but eventually learned the language and became her parents' translator in situations such as school meetings and medical consultations. With effort, she won a scholarship that made her the first in the family to go to college thanks to DACA.
Trump defined the Supreme Court's rulings this week as a "shotgun in the face" for Republicans and conservatives. Considering that the highest court did not provide a legal solution to DACA, but rather a political one, Trump warned on Twitter that they will start the process again. "The Supreme Court delivered a serious defeat to Donald Trump, Stephen Miller (adviser to the president) and their anti-immigrant and racist political agenda," said Ana Maria Archila, coordinator of the Center for Popular Democracy (CPD), which brings together fifty organizations that work for racial and economic justice. Archila added in a statement that they will continue to fight to protect DACA from "any future attacks from this Administration," while fighting for a more permanent solution to the "broken" immigration system.