South Florida Immigration Advocates Prepare For Supreme Court's DACA Decision
The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments this week in a case that could end the Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA).
The program, created by the Obama administration in 2012, temporarily protects some immigrants from deportation if they were brought to the U.S. illegally as children (under 16 years of age) and haven't been convicted of a felony offense. Around 700,000 people qualified for DACA and received temporary permits to legally work and go to school.
During the oral arguments, a few of the justices gave the impression to some observers that they may let the Trump administration shut down the program.
Outside of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility in Miramar, a man who introduced himself as Carlos (we aren't publishing his last name because he fears repercussions if his identity is known) came from Immokalee to bring a friend to a scheduled immigration status appointment appointment.
Carlos said DACA’s future comes up every day in his community.
"I mean, I'm concerned that people are not going to be able to drive and go to school," he said. "I hear that every day… people are afraid they're going to lose everything, pretty much."
The entrance to this ICE facility is also the weekly meeting place for a coalition of immigrant rights advocates and volunteers called the Miramar Circle of Protection.
William Botsch, an Oakland Park resident, started coming to help the Circle of Protection group pass out water bottles and food in front of the Miramar ICE facility around the Fourth of July holiday.
He said he'll be watching for the Supreme Court's decision on DACA because, "This isn't something you can just sit out."
Carlos Naranjo, a community organizer for the political advocacy group the New Florida Majority, said advocates’ work will continue however the Supreme Court rules.
"We're going to continue to be here, in our communities to serve dignity, and justice and love and regardless of what happens we are going to continue to fight back," Naranjo said.
The court's final ruling on the case is expected by June of next year.
"Even if they strike it down today it's not necessarily something that immediately goes away," Botsch said. "There has to be a process of unraveling it, and the administration is going to have to...go through a process. There's always opportunity to keep pushing."