Congress needs to save DACA program

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Many supporters of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — known as DACA — rejoiced last week when the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 ruling, blocked President Donald Trump’s effort to rescind the executive order that established it.

But the high court ruling does not necessarily mean the program can’t be rescinded, it simply notes the Trump administration did not provide legal justification to to rescind the program.

Trump took to Twitter saying, among other things, “We will be submitting enhanced papers shortly in order to properly fulfil the Supreme Court’s ruling.”

That may or may not happen, as Trump’s Twitter proclamations don’t always come to fruition

However, it’s highly likely — if not certain – this issue has not be resolved.

We have long argued that it would have been far better to establish the DACA program, which allows immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children to remain in the country, by an act of Congress.

An effort to approve the Dream Act — named for the immigrants affected known as Dreamers — was debated in Congress but agreement could not be reached.

The basic idea seemed to be embraced by Democrats and Republicans, but the legislation broke down in working out the details in 2017. Partisan politics, as usual, played a role.

Here is what U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane, said in a prepared statement at that time: “I’ve long said I didn’t agree with the way the previous administration went about enacting DACA, but we must protect children who are already here in this country and those who are currently protected under DACA. That principle is fundamental for me.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who co-sponsored the Dream Act with Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., took a similar stand.

“To the president, you have a chance to show the nation as the president of all of us, where your heart is at,” Graham said in 2017. “You have a chance, as the leader of the Republican Party, to do two things: Say that we are the party of constitutional process. That we believe in doing it right, but right means taking care of these kids.”

Exactly. Dreamers were brought to this country by adults as young children, and to many this in the only home they have ever known.

In addition, they have made productive lives in America and should be allowed to stay.

Regardless of what Trump ultimately does, which might now be skewed by election-year politics, Congress needs to step in to do the right thing by the Dreamers.

America is a country that has long prided itself on offering opportunity to all. Congress must affirm that ideal.