Florida House members are reacting to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling allowing DREAMers to remain safe from deportation for the time being. The narrow 5-4 vote will uphold the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program started in 2012.
“I’m thrilled and relieved with this SCOTUS decision, which temporarily saves DACA and blocks Trump’s cruel attempt to end the program for nearly 650,000 young adults who want a life of dignity and respect,” Orlando state representative Carlos Guillermo Smith said. “Congratulations to all the DREAMers out there who built the movement, which led to today’s historic decision. These brave young adults are working, going to school, living their lives, and contributing to America. This is their home. Taking legal status away so President Trump can deport them is morally reprehensible and would hurt our economy.”
The message from Florida Democratic House members was unified and loud regarding DACA.
Representative Cindy Polo (D-Hialeah) stated: “I am pleased and honestly emotional about today’s SCOTUS decision to uphold DACA. This is a stepping-stone in the right direction. Dreamers need full protection, and they should be able to receive a path to citizenship because they are American. This is another example of the importance of elections and we must show up for our Dreamers again this November. I congratulate all those who worked diligently at the forefront to defend DACA recipients in Florida and across the country. Estamos con ellos.”
Representative Nick Duran (D-Miami) added: “A major victory for DREAMers and for our entire country, which is enriched by the contributions of these young men and women.”
Representative Amy Mercado (D-Orlando) added: “This is a victory for our country as we see that no administration is above the law. It’s of course a victory for our DREAMers who can continue to benefit from the necessary protections under DACA. We need to keep them from losing the only home they have known. Our country is greater thanks to immigrants and their contributions past, present, and future.”
Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith (D- Orlando) also stated:
“It is crucial to understand that this is only a temporary victory. We MUST urge Congress to grant DACA recipients permanent legal status NOW. The DACA program has widespread bipartisan support from Democrats and Republicans alike, but unfortunately President Trump’s ongoing white nationalist agenda continues to put immigrant youth at risk.”
“I am calling on my colleagues in the Florida House to pass our legislation, HB 693, which removes the discriminatory prohibition on DACA and TPS recipients from being eligible for state-based financial aid awards such as the Bright Futures scholarship. Florida did the right thing in 2014 by extending in-state tuition to thousands of DACA students who were brought to the U.S. as children and who graduated from Florida public schools. These communities deserve the same opportunities as other students to earn state-based financial aid to reach their educational and career potential. It is in our state’s interest to help these students succeed– not create obstacles to their academic achievement.”
Representative Susan Valdés (D- Tampa) added: “I am delighted that so many young Americans can remain protected from deportation and remain in the only country many of them have ever known. The Trump administration’s attempt to undo protections for Dreamers was not only callous, but actively harmful to our national interest. Today’s decision reinforces our fundamental American ideals. America is a nation of immigrants, and Dreamers strengthen the fabric of our society by continuing that great tradition.”
Representative Javier Fernández (D- Miami) added: “Today, the Supreme Court said ‘no’ to the Trump administration’s attempt to end the DACA program, which protects over 650,000 immigrants who have spent most of their lives in the U.S. As the son of immigrants, I’m grateful for this landmark decision and hope that it puts Washington on the path to finally passing comprehensive immigration reform.”
Representative Dotie Joseph (D- Miami) stated: “As we struggle to deal with COVID-19 and #BlackLivesMatter, it is painful to have a President that makes everything about his re-election rather than the very real impact on people. I’m grateful for a system that provides a judicial check to this administration’s imbalance. As Congress figures out comprehensive immigration reform, most Americans understand the value of the DACA program in providing a legal pause for young people who have lived in this country for just about their entire life. This is their home. Democrats, Republicans, and Independents all get it, and support DACA. Why doesn’t the President get it?”