HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - Connecticut's lawmakers and officials are reacting to the news that the Supreme Court blocked the Trump Administration's attempt to do away with protections for young immigrants.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program, or DACA, is a President Barack Obama era program aimed at giving immigrant children who grew up in the U.S. a path to become legal citizens.
Rep. John Larson, who represents Connecticut's 1st District, applauded the decision.
“The Supreme Court’s ruling provides enormous relief to the thousands of DREAMers in the United States," Larson said. "I commend the chief justice and the Supreme Court for upholding the rule of law. Dreamers are Americans. They grew up here and this is their home. Instead of supporting them and creating a path towards citizenship, President Trump tried to strip almost 650,000 young people of their legal status. The House-passed American Dream and Promise Act offers a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients. It’s time for the Senate to do its job and make this dream a reality.”
Sen. Chris Murphy said those "dreamers" had been living in fear of a deportation threat for far too long.
"It’s a relief that [Thursday's] Supreme Court decision ends some of this uncertainty and continues to protect Dreamers,” Murphy said. “But this is only a partial, temporary victory. The Trump administration has shown time and again its desire to attack immigrants, and it’s up to Congress to pass legislation that permanently protects Dreamers. I’ve met so many incredible Dreamers across Connecticut, who work hard every day to make our country better and contribute to our economy. The United States is a nation of immigrants, and we need to keep it that way.”
Sen. Richard Blumenthal said his heart soared.
"The rule of law has won against mean-spirited lawless leaders, renewing trust in our courts. We should be inspired by this historic legal victory to radically reform the present broken immigration system. Comprehensive immigration reform is no less urgent and vital," Blumenthal said. “This ruling is a landmark legal victory that will prevent the immense heartbreak of draconian mass deportation, but can never erase the massive suffering caused by Trump’s cruel, illegal policies. Today is a welcome reprieve. Dreamers need and deserve permanent status and a pathway to citizenship. Congress must act now and pass the Dream Act.”
Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro released a statement, saying “I am delighted that with the Supreme Court’s decision today, we can finally say Dreamers, including almost 4,000 DACA recipients in Connecticut, are here to stay. It is unsurprising that the Supreme Court ruled that the President’s reckless decision to end DACA was arbitrary and failed to adequately justify ending DACA. Our country is made stronger and enriched by Dreamers. During the pandemic, 200,000 DACA recipients are essential workers, including health care workers and farm workers, who play critical roles in keeping our country safe. Our government made a promise to DACA recipients, and today’s decision affirms this promise. As a proud cosponsor of the Dream & Promise Act (H.R. 6), I urge the Senate to permanently protect Dreamers.”
Gov. Ned Lamont said the Supreme Court affirmed what was being said all along.
"Dreamers are members of our communities and any attempt to change that would be unjust and wrong," Lamont said. "Tearing people from the only homes they have ever known is cruel, heartless, and – despite what the administration may claim – doesn’t even serve a national security purpose. As leaders elected to represent communities across our country, we should be doing everything in our power to make our country stronger, and this attempt to end the DACA program would have done the exact opposite. I applaud the Supreme Court for making the right decision today and giving Dreamers across our country the stability that they deserve.”
Connecticut Attorney General William Tong called the decision a tremendous victory.
"The Trump Administration’s attack on DACA was cruel and completely unnecessary, rooted in bad law and badly bungled procedure," Tong said. "This decision is a stunning legal rebuke of a centerpiece of Trump’s hate-filled and xenophobic immigration policy. This is a moment to celebrate, but our fight continues on behalf of countless other immigrant families still in the shadows, who too deserve a fair chance to achieve their American dream.”
In 2017, Connecticut joined 15 other states in a lawsuit challenging the Trump Administration's arbitrary and unlawful decision to revoke DACA. The suit argued that the Trump Administration’s attempt to revoke DACA was based on a faulty legal analysis and harmed state residents, institutions, and economies.
In Feb. 2018, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District issued a nationwide preliminary injunction that halted DACA’s termination. The case ultimately went to the U.S. Supreme Court, where Tong joined a coalition of 16 attorneys general filing a brief last September.