DENVER (CBS4) – The U.S. Supreme Court begins hearing arguments on whether or not it is constitutional to do away with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy Tuesday morning.
DACA was created by President Barack Obama back in 2012.
The program allowed undocumented people who came to the U.S. before 2012, who were under the age of 31, and who had lived in the U.S. since 2007 to apply for deportation to be deferred and to become eligible for a work permit. The policy was meant to be a stop-gap until congress took on the issue of immigration of reform. In 2017 President Donald Trump decided to end it, leading to series of lawsuit, and ultimately bringing this before the Supreme Court.
The decision could affect 700,000 DACA recipients including many who live in Colorado. Maria Morales is a Denver Public Schools teacher and DACA recipient, she shared with CBS4 how this policy has helped her.
“In 2012 I applied for DACA and I was able to get a two-year work permit and protection from deportation and that allowed me to attend college and graduate and become a teacher and serve my community.”
State Representative Dave Williams has taken a hard stance on immigration law and said, “This issue is not clear cut and dry, there are a lot of people here in country illegally and a lot of them don’t mean harm to our society, but there are a lot of others that do and that is why we need to apply the law equally to everyone.”
Eunice, a Metropolitan State University Denver Student talked about the dangers of why her family had to flee their native country of Mexico to find a better life.
“It’s helping students like me, or my brother reach the goals that they wanted to reach for such a long time, that they can’t do in their country.”
Still, Williams said it’s not about taking away opportunity, but about fairness.
“The people that get visas to reside to work or learn, it’s not right that they have to abide by these rules, while others can just come in. It sends a signal to the rest of the world that they don’t have to follow our rules they can break our laws and still reap a benefit from it.”
A decision from the Court is expected no later than June 2020.