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Sonia Sotomayor used the Supreme Court's DACA ruling to dunk on Trump's bigotry

A huge victory for human decency.

Sonia Sotomayor used the Supreme Court's DACA ruling to dunk on Trump's bigotry
via Commonwealth Club / Flickr and Victoria Pickering / Flickr

The Supreme Court dealt a huge blow to one of President Trump's biggest campaign promises by blocking his attempt to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA).

The decision allows over 800,000 DACA recipients, also known as "Dreamers," to avoid deportation. Dreamers are the children of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country under the age of 16 and who arrived by 2007.

These are young people who are completely integrated into American society and have little connection to their country of birth. So Trump's attempt to send them back to a place where they have no connection or resources was one of the most malicious acts of his cruel presidency.

Conservative Justice John Roberts was the swing vote in the 5 to 4 decision. He believes the government didn't give an adequate justification for ending the program and called it "arbitrary and capricious."

via Wikimedia Commons

However, Judge Sonia Sotomayor went a step further by saying that Trump's decision to end DACA was based on racial discrimination. She believes that Trump's comments about immigrants provide a vital context for his actions.

"[T]he plurality dismisses the statements that President Trump made both before and after he assumed office," Sotomayor wrote in her concurrence.

"The complaints catalog then-candidate Trump's declarations that Mexican immigrants are 'people that have lots of problems,' 'the bad ones,' and 'criminals, drug dealers [and] rapists," she added.

Trump also "compared undocumented immigrants" to "animals" responsible for "the drugs, the gangs, the cartels, the crisis of smuggling and trafficking [and] MS13," Sotomayor noted.

via Victoria Pickering / Flickr

Trump's characterizations of undocumented immigrants fly in the face of reality. Studies show that 90% of DACA recipients have a job and nearly half are in school. The DACA was extremely successful at giving young, undocumented people greater opportunity.

The DACA designation expanded employment and educational opportunities for hundreds of thousands of undocumented young people. Their wages increased from $5 to $8 an hour to $14, on average. Seventy-six percent doubled their yearly salaries and many were able to get professional licenses for jobs such as hairstylist to a medical professionals.

The change in status for Dreamers was also great for state and local governments. They contributed $5.7 billion in federal taxes as well as $3.1 billion in state and local taxes after receiving their new designation.

Barack Obama signed the immigration policy in 2012 via an executive brand memorandum. He was understandably excited with the Supreme Court's decision.

Trump's attempts to destroy DACA may have been prevented by administrations inability to provide an adequate reasoning for the decision. But it's also emblematic of Trump's overall misunderstanding of immigration, in general.

The DACA experiment shows that immigrants are hardworking and productive members of American society and when we give the same opportunities as native-born Americans they will thrive. The reality of immigration runs completely contrary to Trump's attempt to scapegoat a group that is truly making America great.

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