By ALEX ORTIZ
Two Will County-area members of Congress praised the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court to reject the Trump administration’s attempt to end legal protections for undocumented residents who came into the country as children.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is an executive action implemented by the Obama administration that prevents immigrants from being deported and provides them with a legal work permit. A 5-4 majority on the court ruled that the Trump administration did not pursue the end of the eight-year-old program properly.
U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, D-Naperville, said the court’s decision was a “victory” for the more than 600,000 undocumented young people, commonly referred to as “Dreamers,” across the country and in his district, which includes Joliet and Bolingbrook.
“The Trump administration’s cruel attempt to target these patriotic young people was beneath the values of our nation, and the Supreme Court rightly rejected it,” Foster said in a statement.
Foster added that the court’s decision “doesn’t replace the need for congressional action that permanently protects Dreamers.” He called his votes for legislation to codify such protections for immigrants, most recently for the Dream and Promise Act in 2019, among his proudest moments in Congress.
U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Naperville, said the Supreme Court’s decision was “welcome relief” for the thousands of people who benefit from DACA.
She added that DACA recipients have contributed to the U.S. through owning small businesses, teaching children in schools and serving on the front lines against the coronavirus as health care professionals.
“Dreamers who grew up in this country and know no other home should have a pathway to citizenship and protection for the economic and societal contributions they make,” Underwood said in a statement.
Underwood also called for the passage of the legislation the House voted in favor of last year to protect DACA recipients. She called on the Senate to “immediately” pass the bill.