The Weekly Issue/El Semanario Advisory Board
The vote for U.S. Senator from Colorado and for U.S. President will be upon us in a few weeks, whether by mail-in ballot or in-person voting. The Advisory Committee for The Weekly Issue/El Semanario strongly urge you to protect the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program, which has been under strident attack by President Trump since his 2016 campaign and throughout his presidency, aided and abetted by his Senator, Cory Gardner.
The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments from the Trump administration to rescind DACA in November, 2019, but the Court on June 18 of this year ruled 5-4 that DACA could continue, for now, pending President Trump’s upcoming, revised plans to terminate it. It has been assumed by many that the debate over and struggle for DACA’s continuation was settled favorably by the U.S. Supreme Court, but such is not the case. Instead, the Court’s decision carries within it the seeds of the next effort by Trump and his administration, as the justices gave the Trump administration guidelines for the next version for the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security to undue DACA. The fate of DACA still is precarious, awaiting the results of the upcoming election.
President Barack Obama and his administration created DACA in June of 2012 to protect young immigrants who had been brought to the U.S. as children. It called for discretion to “defer action,” as the name implies, against deportation of these young immigrants, who as is widely reported were brought to the U.S. at an average age of 6-years-old. We, the Advisory Committee for The Weekly Issue/El Semanario, declare that such children broke no laws in their immigration, since children according to the U.S. legal system are incapable of breaking any law until at least 10 years old. Between ages 10 and 15, courts can engage in protecting, rather than punishing, the child. Discretion to “defer action” should therefore be a given.
We ask our readers to consider a major question about American jurisprudence: Does the U.S. Constitution apply to these immigrant children?
If Colorado can protect adults committing Federal felonies, it can protect young DACA recipients, brought as children, who have committed no crimes.
To answer, consider a thought experiment. Assume a planeload from Europe of wealthy white British citizen adults, along with wealthy white German citizen adults, are flying from Europe across the U.S. to China to tour the Great Wall of China. Flying from east to west, their plane experiences engine problems in Kansas, and they must land, unannounced, with no previous approvals, at Denver International Airport (DIA). They disembark and are now in the terminal at DIA. Could Colorado citizens assault them, rob them, mug them, engage in an onslaught against them—since, after all, they are not U.S. citizens? Or are they protected by the U.S. Constitution? The question is absurd—of course they would enjoy U.S. Constitutional protection, and they could be on their way once their plane’s engine is repaired, blond hair blowing in the wind.
Now consider DACA recipients in Donald Trump’s and Cory Gardner’s América. Do DACA children at age 6, and young people when they receive DACA certification, have legal recourse to the “Equal Protection” clause of the 14th Amendment, which protects citizens, of course, but also “persons,” citizens or not? The answer is, in Barack Obama’s América, they did. But in Trump’s and Gardner’s América, they do not, since both politicians, and their Republican cohorts, have done all they could to do away with DACA and other such protections.
The Federal government must not engage in wanton, negative, and differential treatment of children and other young “persons” who have committed no crimes but have, instead, contributed to our culture in the United States.
The charge could be prosecuted against us, the Advisory Committee, that Federal law is rigid against immigrants. However, consider marijuana use in Colorado. While immigration is a Federal matter, so too is possession and use of marijuana, so Federal vs. Colorado state laws on marijuana apply. While marijuana possession, use, and sales are illegal by Federal law, including throughout Colorado—even reaching the status of felonies depending on circumstances— adult residents over the age of 21 receive “discretion” and “deferred action” from felony—or any—prosecution. If Colorado can protect adults committing Federal felonies, it can protect young DACA recipients, brought as children, who have committed no crimes.
Our concern is that Trump’s and Gardner’s crusade to eliminate DACA will return, probably in time to generate renewed enthusiasm for Trump’s and Gardner’s flagging reelection campaigns, in a follow-up Executive Order. The New York Times on June 19, in “Trump Says Administration Will Try Again to End ‘Dreamers’ Program,”
stated, “In a tweet Friday morning, Mr. Trump vowed to try again. ‘We will be submitting enhanced papers shortly in order to properly fulfill the Supreme Court’s ruling and request of yesterday,’ Mr. Trump wrote. Within moments, one of Mr. Trump’s top immigration officials at the Department of Homeland Security, tweeted that the administration is eager to terminate the protections for the young immigrants in a way that will pass muster with the court.”
We remind readers that following the November 3 elections, there will still be 2 ½ months before the next President takes office on January 20. Relevant rulings leading up to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June of this year allowed for the Trump administration to re-submit their case, with revisions. Their DACA decision indicated that Trump’s rescission is subject to review under the APA, or the Administrative Procedure Act, which was at the heart of the Court’s ruling, whether the Trump administration had followed its guidelines for setting forth, or undoing, executive orders, by which President Obama had created DACA.
For the above reasons and more, we urge our readers to support DACA once more, and continuing. Vice President Joe Biden and former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper have tirelessly supported these young people before and will continue to do so. Get Out the Vote! Joe Biden for President Joe Biden and John Hickenlooper for U.S. Senate.
Members of The Weekly Issue/El Semanario Advisory Board: Ramón Del Castillo, Ph.D.; Ray Ayón, retired Denver Police Detective; Steve Del Castillo, Ph.D.; and Luis Torres, Ph.D.
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