When Donald Trump launched his candidacy for president with his now infamous escalator ride followed by a fiery speech at Trump Tower in 2015, most headlines reporting the event referenced his comments about Mexican immigrants.
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“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best… They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people,” he said.
In that same speech, however, he also made a little noticed comment about the Deferred Actions for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), saying, “I will immediately terminate President Obama’s illegal executive order on immigration, immediately.”
Redundant use of the word ‘immediately aside,’ cancelling the popular program has been a goal of his literally since day one. He’s also consistently demeaned immigrants, especially those from Latin America, from that very first speech through his first 14 months in office.
Unfortunately for the president, the courts have noticed both trends, and they’ve jeopardized his long held plans to scuttle one of President Obama’s most popular initiatives.
The New York Times reported late Thursday evening that a federal judge ruled that “a lawsuit seeking to preserve a program that protects hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants from deportation could continue,” and he did so “citing President Trump’s ‘racially charged language.’”
More from The Times:
The order, by Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis of Federal District Court in Brooklyn, was the strongest sign so far of judicial support for the program known as DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which has for months been the subject of a heated debate in Congress.
The lawsuit Judge Garaufis is presiding over is just one of many that was filed after Trump nixed the program. Multiple states and pro-immigration groups have sued the federal government to get the program reinstated until Congress acts.
President Trump loves to blame Democrats for DACA’s demise, and he desperately hopes the hundreds of thousands of immigrants left in limbo will blame them, too.
Yes, Democrats in Congress have failed to find common ground with their Republican counterparts to pass a permanent legislative solution to the program President Obama put in place by executive order in order in 2012.
What the president fails to mention in his frequent tweets and statements calling Democrats out, however, is that he cancelled DACA in September of 2017 – although he gave himself some cover by passing the buck to Congress and granting them a six month window to salvage it.
It was the act of cancelling DACA – and that act alone – that threw the DREAMers to wolves. Trump didn’t have to scuttle the program before Congress passed a legislative fix, but he did.
Judge Garaufis’ reference to the president’s “racially charged language” in his ruling is particularly damning to Trump’s case.
“In his order rejecting the motion to dismiss, Judge Garaufis pointed directly at Mr. Trump, noting that his numerous ‘racial slurs’ and ‘epithet’” — both as a candidate and from the White House — had created a ‘plausible inference’ that the decision to end DACA violated the equal protection clause of the Constitution,” The Times‘
The six month deadline for Congress to permanently fix DACA that President Trump insisted upon when he cancelled the program came and went on March 6th. Thanks to a last minute ruling by the Supreme Court, which declined to review a lower court ruling reinstating DACA while the multiple lawsuits work their way through courts, the DREAMers have been granted a reprieve from deportation, albeit a tenuous one.
Today’s ruling by a federal judge is a promising development suggesting that Trump’s plan to let DACA die through inaction in Congress will ultimately fail.
God bless the separation of powers.