No person or institution is all-powerful in America. And neither is one person or institution held exclusively responsible for what takes place in this country. These actualities are visible upon examining not only the state of DACA – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – but also the history of America, including Trump’s ascension to the presidency.
In September of last year, the Trump administration announced it would phase out the program known as DACA, effectively ending it in March. Since then a number of actions have been taken on behalf of “dreamers,” those enrolled in the program, by elected officials, individual citizens and various organizations.
The most recent is a temporary injunction issued by U.S. District Judge William Aslup. The injunction puts the Trump administration’s annihilation of the program at a standstill while a legal challenge to the decision to end it is still pending. Aslup’s nationwide orders preclude renewing DACA and work authorizations for the 690,000 immigrants who held the status when the administration ended the program. Aslup maintains that federal officials can deny entry to those returning to the U.S. from travel abroad. He also says the government does not have to accept new applications.
The Trump administration has countered by filing a notice of appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Not only that, but they’ve made the rare move to appeal to the Supreme Court before the case is heard by the circuit courts. Attorney General Jeff Sessions says, “it defies both law and common sense for DACA…to somehow be mandated nationwide by a single district court in San Francisco.”
Well Mr. Sessions, somebody has to use their power to provide service and protection for those whom Congress and the administration fail. Aslup’s injunction illustrates the beauty of and necessity for shared power within a country. It is not the first, last or only kind of instance either.
Multiple states’ similar responses to the administration’s travel ban, citizens pressuring of elected officials and the Constitution itself all further exhibit this shared power.
And being that with shared power comes shared responsibility, the resistance to this administration’s shortcomings is just as important to note as the actual shortcomings. It exhibits the fact that all rather than one assume what happens with regard to any issue.
It would behoove Sessions and other officials, who spoke of Dr. King and his legacy on Jan. 15, to regard him most accurately. Dr. King believed in service to fellow man, by any means necessary. It’s feasible to assume then, that if he were here he’d applaud Judge Aslup’s injunction.
Because while it would have been ideal to be issued by the administration or Congress and certainly isn’t a permanent solution, the injunction is a step towards justice for dreamers, a step towards the dream of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And if it comes to it, hopefully the Supreme Court wields its limited but considerable power and responsibility to further actualize that dream for those particular dreamers.