Northwest lawmakers comment on DACA ruling from U.S. Supreme Court
Several political leaders release statements about the decision
Political leaders across the Pacific Northwest are responding to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling blocking an attempt from the Trump administration to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, that protects immigrants brought the the U.S. as children from deportation.
U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts was joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor to uphold DACA. Their opinion demonstrates the Trump administration failed to provide an adequate reason to justify ending the program.
The ruling along with justice’s opinions can be found here.
Lawmakers from Washington and Oregon released statements about the ruling on social media and on their official websites.
Gov. Jay Inslee (D-WA)
“More than 16,000 Dreamers call Washington home, and today’s decision puts an end to the uncertainty these young people have faced due to the actions of the Trump administration. These aspiring women and men are an integral part of our communities, contributing talent and promise to our state. They built their lives here, go to school and work here, and know no other place as home. It was cruel, senseless and unlawful for the Trump administration to spend the last four years threatening these hardworking individuals with deportation. The president’s xenophobic and relentlessly anti-immigrant agenda — focused on building walls and deporting friends, neighbors, co-workers and family members — is an affront to the principles this nation was founded on. It does not reflect who we are as Americans. With its ruling, the Supreme Court ensures DACA recipients can continue to live their lives and pursue the incredible opportunities promised to them eight years ago, unencumbered by the threats of a callous president. These young people are Americans.”
Gov. Kate Brown (D-OR)
“Today the U.S. Supreme Court took significant action to protect dreamers all across our nation. Dreamers, brought to the United States as children, embody the American dream. While the Supreme Court kept DACA in place for now, the president may still try to end the program. Oregon’s 12,000 valued Dreamers serve in our military, work in our hospitals, pay taxes, and make our communities stronger. Oregon will always be a welcoming, safe place for all. Our 33-year-old Sanctuary Law prevents Oregon from enforcing federal immigration law, and I will uphold this law and stand with Oregonian Dreamers. We are at our best when we focus on what we share in common, not what divides us. Words matter, and rhetoric from the White House has given rise to a very disturbing sentiment that has long targeted communities of color and especially undocumented individuals. Across the country, including right here in Oregon, there is a level of underlying bigotry and hate that shows its face in ways that were unimaginable before. I urge the federal government to let this decision stand and not to continue the relentless attacks on our immigrant communities. I will continue to stand with our undocumented community and fight against those attacks. We can celebrate this historic victory and still recognize we have work to do to ensure every Oregonian can live free from bigotry and hatred because of their immigration status or the color of their skin.”
Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) 4th Legislative District
“I join Dreamers in Central Washington and across the country in breathing a deep sigh of relief in response to the Supreme Court’s decision on DACA. These young people came to our country as children due to no fault of their own, and they continue to work, learn, and enrich our communities. They are our friends, healthcare providers, teachers, veterans, law enforcement officers, and our neighbors – they have never known any other home. However, I strongly support delivering legal certainty to DACA recipients, and while this decision provides them relief from immediate action, Congress still has the responsibility to provide a truly permanent legislative solution as President Trump called for three years ago. We cannot continue to leave the fate of Dreamers before the courts or in the balance between Administrations. Both chambers of Congress have failed to reach a bipartisan agreement on a permanent fix for DACA recipients that strengthens our national security and allows these young people to continue contributing to our society. I continue to work to develop legislation that will do just that, and I urge my colleagues to join me in these discussions. We must provide lasting certainty for Dreamers, once and for all.”
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) 5th Legislative District
“I’ve long said I didn’t agree with the way the previous administration went about enacting DACA, but when President Trump announced his decision to end the program, it became clear that Congress needed to act to provide long-term certainty for these individuals who came here at no fault of their own. Today’s decision doesn’t change the fact that Congress needs to work to establish common-sense policies for children of immigrants, like those here in Eastern Washington, and recognize their unique circumstances and the value they bring to the country as students, job-holders, members of the military, and members of society.”
U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, (D-Ore)
“Dreamers in Oregon and nationwide — and all of us who stand with them — just collectively breathed a sigh of relief. These determined, inspiring, hard-working young people belong in America and deserve the protections promised to them by the U.S. government. Today’s victory is even more reason for Congress to permanently protect Dreamers from the threat of deportation. The House has voted. Now the Senate must too.”
U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
“Today the Supreme Court ruled for the people – DREAMers, my fellow Americans! More than 16,000 Washingtonians live and work in our state under DACA. DREAMers invest in and contribute to their communities. They help us build a better and more prosperous America. Time after time the President has broken the law and enacted inhumane policies, from separating families to putting asylum seekers in jail. The Trump administration has spent millions and millions of American taxpayer dollars defending illegal policies and has divided our country. It must stop.”
U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA)
“I am relieved by today’s Supreme Court decision affirming legal protections for recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, and am so inspired by the Dreamers, activists and countless others who have shared their stories with me and bravely fought to make this day possible. Today’s ruling is not only great news for Dreamers across the nation, including thousands in Washington state, whose lives have been in limbo for the last two years, but is also a rebuke of President Trump and this administration’s cruel, hateful anti-immigrant agenda. Dreamers are our loved ones, friends, co-workers, and neighbors; they teach in our schools, run small businesses in our neighborhoods, work in our hospitals, defend our freedoms overseas, and contribute to our communities in countless ways. During the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, many have also been on the frontlines helping to keep us safe and healthy, feed our families and beyond. These people, who are American in every way that truly matters, are as much a part of our nation as any of us—and today’s decision will allow individuals and families all over our country to breathe more easily knowing they have a place in the nation they’ve long called home. While this ruling is an amazing step in the right direction and just cause for celebration, I know our work is not done. To the Dreamers in Washington state and across our country, thank you for your courage, and know that I and so many others will continue fighting alongside you against this Administration’s bigoted attempts to dismantle our immigration system and keep immigrants in the shadows. More importantly, know that as a voice in the Senate for undocumented individuals throughout our state and nation, I am committed to the work to fix our nation’s broken immigration system to help ensure we’re the nation of opportunity and promise the United States has always aspired to be.”
Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson
“President Trump’s effort to abandon thousands of Dreamers was both cruel and unlawful. Today, our nation’s highest court agreed. Dreamers make our communities better and stronger places to live. Thanks to today’s decision, they can continue to live and work in what is for many of them the only home they’ve ever known.”
Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum
No official statement but on Twitter she said “Oregon is home to more than 11,000 wonderful young adults we call our Dreamers. And today, #SCOTUS agreed with our federal lawsuit that the Trump Administration violated the law when it shut down the DACA program for 700,000 Dreamers who have only known America as their home. To our Oregon Dreamers— you are part of our communities and greatly enrich our state. I am committed to continuing our legal effort to keep you here— forever! #HomeIsHere”